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 This statute was neither amended nor repealed with the onset of the new alimony statute on March 1, 2012.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


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