Massachusetts residents who decide to end their marriages may need some direction, information and guidance regarding the issues that will need resolving during the divorce. One of those issues revolves around whether one party will need to pay alimony to the other. Having at least some general information about this topic may help alleviate some anxiety and stress about it.
First, the amount and duration of alimony depend on numerous factors, but in general, the longer the marriage, the higher the amount and the longer the time. However, it may not be necessary to actually pay the amount owed, especially if the parties are negotiating their settlement outside the courtroom. It may be possible to trade assets for monetary payments.
For instance, if the party who would receive alimony wants to keep the family home, the party who would pay may give up his or her right to be bought out of the home in exchange for not paying spousal support. Using the same scenario, the paying spouse could agree to continue making payments on the mortgage loan for a specified amount of time as well. Any mutually agreed to arrangement could work, and as long as the spouse who would receive payments is not left without a means of support, the court may approve the plan.
Making these types of alternative arrangements may actually come in handy since the tax rules regarding alimony payments change on Jan. 1, 2019. Endeavoring to remain out of the courtroom could allow for some out-of-the-box thinking that could ultimately result in an agreement with which both parties can be satisfied. Whatever arrangements a Massachusetts couple comes to will need to comply with all applicable laws and public policies, and making sure this happens is more easily accomplished with professional assistance.