Do I have to pay Massachusetts alimony forever?

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Do I have to pay Massachusetts alimony forever?

Divorce agreement states I’ll pay specific amount for 10 years. I know that when we get close to that time, she will come back for more, but I want to retire won’t and stop paying at that time.We were married for 28 years but spent last 10 years living apart (didn’t want to divorce until kids had graduated school). So actually together less than 20 years – which I understand might affect judgments?

Asked on April 10, 2009 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

R.C., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the order says ten years, ten years it is--not life.  The time limit was given for what the court considered good reason, i.e., that it was sufficient time for your ex-wife to find a financial life for herself, and for you to give her enough financial support to do so.  So if your wife does sue for a new order of alimony, she will do so under the presumption that the court's ten year limit meant just that--ten years. Unless she has a very, very good reason to continue getting alimony, it's unlikely she will get it.  But of course she is free to ask, and will have to go back into the court system to do so.   


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