How is alimony determined in Massachusetts?

Based on the statute that alimony is allowed, there are certain factors that a Judge must consider when deciding on whether or not alimony should be ordered:

• shall consider the length of the marriage,
• the conduct of the parties during the marriage,
• the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income,
vocational skills, employability,
• estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties
• and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
In addition, the statute states that in fixing the nature and value of the property to be so assigned, the court shall also consider the present and future needs of the dependent children of the marriage.

The court may also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit.

The Statute further states: “When the court makes an order for alimony on behalf of a spouse, said court shall determine whether the obligor under such order has health insurance or other health coverage available to him through an employer or organization or has health insurance or other health coverage available to him at reasonable cost that may be extended to cover the spouse for whom support is ordered. When said court has determined that the obligor has such insurance or coverage available to him, said court shall include in the support order a requirement that the obligor do one of the following: exercise the option of additional coverage in favor of the spouse, obtain coverage for the spouse, or reimburse the spouse for the cost of health insurance. In no event shall the order for alimony be reduced as a result of the obligor’s cost for health insurance coverage for the spouse.”