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 This statute was neither amended nor repealed with the onset of the new alimony statute on March 1, 2012.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


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