Child Support and Alimony

Boston Child Support Lawyer

The alimony law changed in 2012 and new child support guidelines were instituted in August 2013. If you are getting divorced in Massachusetts or modifying child custody or support orders, your attorney must be up to speed on these significant changes.

My name is Elizabeth Stiritz, an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Boston, Massachusetts. Whether you are the payer or the recipient, I can make sure that financial support is fair and accurate. I am familiar with the child support and spousal support legislation, and I have closely watched how the statutes are interpreted and applied by the judges.

Determination or Modification of Child Support

The amount of child support is mainly driven by the incomes of both parties. However, there are sometimes legitimate reasons for departing from the child support guidelines, such as health insurance, child care expenses and existing child support orders for other children. As your attorney, I can knowledgeably argue for or against a deviation based on the statutory factors.

You may also need a lawyer's help if the other parent is not being honest on the child support financial worksheets. We can find unreported income through forensic accounting or subpoena of bank records, and the court can impute income for a parent who is purposely unemployed or underemployed.

The revised child support guidelines also account for the trend toward shared parenting. A parent who has more than one-third but less than one-half of the parenting time will pay less child support than a parent who has traditional visitation.

I handle initial child support orders in divorce or paternity actions, and I can advocate for either parent in modification and enforcement of child support orders.

Experienced Alimony Attorney Serving Boston, Braintree, and All of South Shore

The purpose of alimony is to provide economic security to a spouse whose financial means and standard of living are significantly diminished in divorce.

Judges have some leeway in determining alimony, but they must consider a number of statutory factors, including:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, health and special needs
  • Incomes of each party and income disparity
  • Occupation and vocational skills
  • Employability and earning capacity
  • Financial needs of the spouse

I can gauge whether alimony is likely to be awarded in your case and project a range for the amount and duration. I can also assess how the four key changes of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 may apply in your divorce or modification:

  • Durational limits on alimony
  • Suspension or termination of alimony upon cohabitation
  • Termination of alimony upon the payor's retirement
  • Consideration of alimony in the overall division of assets

The new durational limits are based on how long you were married. For shorter marriages, alimony would be paid for 50 percent of that duration if at all — a four-year marriage would equate to two years of support. The percentage increases in five-year increments. A marriage of 10 to 15 years has a maximum alimony duration of 70 percent. A marriage of 20 years or more has no limit — alimony could continue until cohabitation, remarriage, retirement or death.

An Experienced and Understanding Lawyer Makes All the Difference

Financial support is an emotionally charged issue and has a great impact on your future and your quality of life. For a confidential consultation with a Boston child support lawyer, call me at 617.471.8500 or email me today to make arrangements.

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