Alimony can be requested by either spouse and can be important to both spouses. Because of how important alimony is, it is important for divorcing spouses to understand the alimony process and what types of alimony may be available.

There are generally 4 types of alimony that may be available in Massachusetts. The first type of alimony that may be available includes general term alimony which is support that is regularly paid to an ex-spouse that is financially dependent on the other spouse. The duration of general term alimony depends on the length of the marriage. Rehabilitative alimony is another type of alimony that may be available which is support that is expected to last for a certain period of time while the recipient spouse obtains the skills and training necessary to become self-sufficient.

The third type of alimony that may be available is reimbursement alimony. Reimbursement alimony may be awarded in circumstances of a marriage not longer than 5 years to reimburse one spouse for costs they may have contributed to the other spouse’s education or job training. The fourth type of alimony that may be awarded is transitional alimony that may be support paid regularly when the couple has been married not longer than 5 years to help the other spouse transition following the divorce.

A request for alimony or an award of alimony can have an impact on the property division settlement the divorcing couple reaches. Because of the significant impact alimony can have on the divorce settlement agreement and the financial futures of the divorcing couple, it is helpful to have a strong working knowledge of alimony basics.