Advocates want lawmakers to revisit alimony law

 May 25, 2017 By Christian M. WadeCNHI State Reporter

BOSTON — Six years ago, lawmakers passed a raft of reforms meant to address inequities in the state’s antiquated divorce laws, ending lifetime alimony payments and capping how much one spouse is required to pay the other.

But recent rulings by the state’s highest court have people who were divorced before the 2012 reforms still bound to the old rules, including a requirement that they must pay alimony if they have reached retirement age or their former spouse is living with a new partner.

“For those people, alimony essentially still means indentured servitude, even if their ex-spouse is working or supported by a new partner,” said Stephen Hitner, a divorce mediator and president of the advocacy group Massachusetts Alimony Reform.

Hitner and other advocates are backing legislation to make the new provisions of alimony law apply to settlements before 2012, as well as new ones. Read More