781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

Alimony: Double Dipping In a New Light?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Massachusetts appellate courts have long struggled with whether a “seeming[ly] unjust” double counting of income occurs when a trial judge divides property that includes a closely held business, values that business using an “income theory”, and then orders alimony to be paid from the same source. The cases boil down to a definite maybe, requiring a court to discern an unfair double dip from an acceptable one, including whether or not there are “separate parts” of the asset. A variety of circumstances could lead the fact-finder to different outcomes.

Now, alimony “reform” legislation (eff. 3/1/12) precludes the Court counting expected capital gains, interest or dividend income from any divided assets, as income for alimony computation. Does this settle the double dip question for all time and purposes? Is the judgmental task of fair or unfair double counting over?

We doubt that the business valuation question was squarely in mind of the legislators when they passed the alimony bill; but it seems inconceivable that the next time an appellate panel hears this issue that the business owner will not argue for a blanket exclusion of any business income for alimony computation purposes, citing the alimony statute. If the argument succeeds, and there is no other source of income to tap for the support of a dependent spouse, where does that leave the parties?

Settlement of one issue always seems to beget another.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

alimony orders divorce mediators Divorce family law divorce arbitration Family Law Arbitration divorce judgment Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Cohabitation Same Sex Marriage Boston Divorce Agreements medical benefits mediation Obamacare Levine Dispute Resolution Alimony Reform Act Levine Dispute Resolutions Defense of Marriage Act rehabilitative alimony alimony statute disputes lawyer-attended mediation MLB labor agreement LDRC special master divorce process Baseball Arbitration child support Child Support Guidelines Uniform Arbitration Act fraud med/arb arbitrator Matrimonial Arbitration Chouteau Levine private dispute resolution IRC §2704 alimony reform legislation divorce arbitrators Massachusetts alimony and child support dispute resolution separation Major League Baseball Arbitration Massachusetts family law mediation self-adjusting alimony Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC arbitrators Massachusetts divorce mediators COLA family mediation mediators divorce litigation family law arbitrators lawyer family and probate law disputes pre-ARA alimony DOMA litigation SJC traditional negotiations divorce mediations conciliation family support Baseball divorce and family law facilitated negotiations Massachusetts lawyers Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly support orders divorce lawyers annulment lawyers arbitration med-arb Massachusetts alimony Levine Dispute Resolution Center mediator divorce agreement divorce arbitrator high-risk methodology General term alimony divorce mediation Baseball Players divorce and family law mediators The Seven Sins of Alimony divorce mediator Massachusetts divorce lawyers family law arbitrator health coverage alimony Self-adjusting alimony orders alimony law health insurance divorced resolve disputes mediations how baseball arbitration works