Divorce Mediation Blog

Musing On Alimony: Health Coverage Contradiction

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The inconsistencies generated by Massachusetts’ alimony "reform" are not only internal. The pre-existing alimony and equitable property division statute, known as "Section 34", provides that if one of the parties has access to health care coverage at reasonable cost, it shall provided for the benefit of the other party. Further, the law cautions, the cost to the covered party, shall not cause a reduction in the sum of alimony paid. This statute was neither amended nor repealed with the onset of the new alimony statute on March 1, 2012.

Enter the new alimony law. Much of it is devoted to the required setting of durational payment limits and regulating maximum sums to be paid, as a percentage of the parties' comparative gross incomes. However, the statute also contains provisions that give judges discretion to "deviate" from these provisions, based upon a consideration of enumerated factors. One of those factors that may justify reduced alimony rights is the cost of medical insurance. In other words, the cost of health coverage can reduce alimony paid.

Will the legislature reconcile this conflict?

As divorce mediators, we can only explain that the conflict exists and let the parties determine for themselves which law to follow and which to disregard.

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

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


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