Restore The Original Mass Alimony Reform Law

Legislation needed To fix court's incorrect revision of the law

Massachusetts General Court (legislature)
The Legislature Must Act To Repair Judicial Over-Reach

Bring Back Alimony Reform Lost to SJC Actions

It is a new legislative session! Time to fix the Supreme Judicial Court's (SJC) errors in its three January 2015 decisions (Chin v Merriot, Rodman v Rodman, Doktor v Doktor).

These errors ended alimony reform for persons divorced before March 1, 2012, by reinstating alimony payments:

  • For life; and
  • To recipients who share a common household with someone else (Co-habitating ex-spouses)

The SJC ignored: a) the legislature's clear intent, b) the House and Senate's Alimony Reform Task Force, and c) the many participants supporting the unanimous vote of both the House and Senate, including the Massachusetts Bar Association, The Women's Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association (see Signed_Law).

Step 1: Communicate! "Bring back the original legislative intent"

Let your House and Senate members simply know that you want the Alimony Reform Law to return to it's original intent, following the SJC's reversal.

House Bill H.871 brings back that original legislative intent. H.871 is the same Bill as H.4427, "An Act reforming alimony in the Commonwealth", which was unanimously approved by the House last year. The bill simply:

  • Reinstates the original legislation for people divorced before March 1. 2012; and
  • Adds no new alimony reform considerations or provisions.

Remember, the Alimony Reform Law is clear, "Once issued, general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payer attaining the full retirement age." [M.G.L. Chapter 208, section 49 (f)]. The SJC took this clear intent away for people divorced before March 1, 2012. This intent must be re-established through a corrective law, overriding judicial over-reach.

Step 2: Get Your Legislators to Sponsor House Bill H.871

The best way to get a bill passed into law is encourage your House and Senate members to sign onto the bill as co-sponsors. We especially need Senators to introduce and co-sponsor a companion bill.

To get started, click the link for your State legislator contact information. We recommend calling your legislator directly, rather than initially sending an email. Use an email to follow-up on the call, and then to keep following up.

Please contact Steve Hitner and arrange a meeting with your legislators, so that Steve can bring his supporting information on a) why the Bill is needed, b) the history of the Bill, and c) why co-sponsoring is necessary now.

Steve Hitner
Divorce Coach, Consultant, and Mediator
President, Mass Alimony Reform
Member, 2011 Alimony Reform Task Force
Member, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation

213 Main Street, Suite 201
Hudson, Mass 01749
508-335-0069
Steveh [@] usdivorcemediation.com

Step 3: Support mass Alimony Reform with time and donations

Also, please support the Alimony Reform efforts with your time and a donation. Your donation offsets the cost of printing the legislative briefing notebooks, parking in Boston, and other expenses to get the Bill introduced and passed into law.

Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Massachusetts Alimony Reform has been working for more than 10 years to bring peace, independence, and self-sufficiency for the parties to divorce. We have been instrumental in making the public and legislators aware of alimony horror stories. Our multi-year efforts culminated in the Alimony Reform Act becoming law on September 26, 2011.

© Copyright 2015 Massachusetts Alimony Reform