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 This statute was neither amended nor repealed with the onset of the new alimony statute on March 1, 2012.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


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