WE DID IT!
Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2011,
An Act Reforming Alimony in The Commonwealth
signed by Governor Deval Patrick
Monday, September 26, 2011
Place: Massachusetts State House
Thank you to Steve Hitner for leading the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Group to this achievement.
Thank you to the core Board Members of the Mass Alimony Reform Group who volunteered their nights and weekends -- giving their creativity, energy, and ideas -- to organize and publicize the horror stories of lifetime-alimony payers and their second wives, to draft legislation, and to organize members and legislators.
Thank you to the members of the Mass Alimony Reform Group and the Second-Wives & Partners Group who made calls, sent e-mails and letters, and made visits to their Massachusetts Senators and Representatives. This Bill's passage is due to their willingness to speak to their representatives, to testify at Beacon Hill hearings with their horror stories, and to tell these stories to the press.
Thank you to Attorney Tim Taylor who drafted the early Alimony Reform bills, which moved the Joint Committee of the Judiciary to form the Alimony Reform Task Force.
Thank you to Senator Cynthia Creem and Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty for setting up the Alimony Reform Task Force and to Senator Gale Candaras and Representative John Fernandes for leading the Task Force.
Thank you to the Alimony Reform Task Force, where each member donated their time and expertise to reconcile vastly different views to find the necessary compromises, which created a bill that could pass into law. The Task Force included:
- Senator Gale Candaras,
- Representative John Fernandes,
- Steve Hitner (President of Mass Alimony Reform),
- Attorney Ed Mahlowitz (Representing Mass Alimony Reform),
- Attorney David Lee (Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers),
- Attorney Kelly Leighton (Co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s family law section),
- Attorney Denise Squillante (President of the Massachusetts Bar Association),
- Attorney Fern Frolin (Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and President-elect of the Massachusetts chapter of that organization),
- Attorney Rachel B. Biscardi (Director, Women's Bar Foundation's Family Law Project),
- Honorable Paula M. Carey (Chief Justice, Probate and Family Court Department)
Thank you to the 133 Massachusetts Senators and Representatives who sponsored the original Senate Bill S00665.
Thank you to the press for bringing the horror stories to the public's attention and for the editorials in support of alimony reform. Major articles, stories, and editorials are shown on the News and TV-Radio page. We want to especially thank:
- Elizabeth Benedict, who wrote the first Op-Ed, "The Chilling Effect of States Divorce Laws" in Boston Globe and many Op-Ed pieces in the Huffington Post
- Kris Frieswick, who wrote "Till Death Do Us Pay" in Boston Magazine
- Bella English, who wrote Years and marriages later, they still pay in the Boston Globe.
- Adrian Walker who wrote Alimony agony for The Boston Globe
- The Boston Globe Editorial, which wrote Alimony system needs reform, but Legislature drags its feet
- Jessica Fargen, The Boston Herald
- Margery Eagan, who wrote Antiquated law pure insanity for The Boston Herald
- Jennifer C. Braceras and Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald
- Charla Bizios Stevens and Erin Harris, The Boston Herald
- George Donnelly and Lisa van der Pool, The Boston Business Journal
- The Lowell Sun Editorial, Alimony shouldn't be a life sentence
- David Riley, Metrowest Daily News
- Ashley Studley, Milford Daily News
- Matt Pilon, Worcester Business Journal
- Ted Daniel, Fox News 25
- Gene Lavanchy, Fox News 25
- Emily Rooney, WGBH Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Greater Boston
- Tom Finneran, WRKO Finneran's Forum
- Bill Fine: WCVB-TV President And General Manager, WCVB, Channel 5
- Tom Ashbrook, "On Point" on NPR and WBUR, Public Radio
- Robin Young, "Here and Now" on NPR and WBUR, Public Radio
- Chet Curtis, NECN
- Bax and O'Brien, WAQY Classic Rock
- Jennifer Levitz, who wrote, The New Art of Alimony for The Wall Street Journal
- William M. Buckley, The Wall Street Journal
- Abby Goodnough, The New York Times
- Alice Gomstyn, ABC NEWS Business Unit
- HDNET World Report, Divorce 2010: The Rise of "Manimony"
Alimony Reform Law Summary