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The 4 types of alimony awarded in Massachusetts

In the past, it was often assumed that Massachusetts courts would award alimony to the wife in a divorce. This is no longer the case, however.

In order for either party to be awarded support by the courts, both of these conditions must be met — one divorcing spouse must need the support and the other must have the resources to pay it.

If there is a need and the means to meet it, the court may choose to award one of the four following kinds of alimony:

-- General term alimony: This version is paid in increments over time. The duration of the alimony is partially determined by the length of the couple's marriage.

-- Reimbursement alimony: This can be either paid in a lump sum or over a specified period to pay back a spouse who enabled the other to further his or her education or obtain job training.

-- Rehabilitative alimony: Support is paid out in regular intervals with the expectation that after a pre-determined time, the payee will become self-supporting.

-- Transitional alimony: Those married for less than six years may be awarded support paid in a lump sum or incrementally. This allows the individual to adapt to another lifestyle or relocate after their divorce.

There are other factors involved in the determination of whether one spouse can be ordered to pay the other alimony. To learn more about the circumstances under which this might be relevant, a legal professional is one source of information for those in the midst of a contested divorce.

Source: mass.gov, "Alimony," accessed July 09, 2015

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