781.708.4445

info@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

The SJC Weighs in on Self-Adjusting Alimony Orders and Recipient “Need”: Young v. Young, Part 1

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Levine Dispute Resolution - Alimony

With the long-awaited case Young v. Young, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has revisited the important question of when may a trial court originate self-adjusting support orders, a subject that we have addressed here twice before. See, http://levinedisputeresolution.com/docs/Variable-Support-orders-3-28-16.pdf and http://levinedisputeresolution.com/divorce-mediation-blog/need-and-variable-support-orders-they-are-not-mutually-exclusive.

While the case does not address the situation where there is insufficient income to keep both parties living at the former marital standard of living, it does review and elaborate on existing precedent.

In a high income case of great executive compensation complexity, the trial court ordered the husband to pay to the wife a 1/3 share of all gross income that the husband receives going forward, rather than the fixed sum alimony that both parties sought, albeit in vastly different suggested amounts.

The core rulings of Young are neither complex nor novel on their face:

  1. Self-adjusting alimony orders are not per se prohibited, but they are to be limited to “special” though not necessarily “extraordinary” circumstances; and that
  2. Self-adjusting alimony orders that “intend” to elevate the recipient spouse’s standard of living above the marital station are prohibited

But, what does it all mean, really?

We will use Young as a jumping off point to address both its particular analysis and holdings, and to re-examine the curious case of variable support orders a/k/a self-adjusting support orders at large. We begin with just what is a variable support order and who uses them, then explore the analysis and implications of Young, and close (we think) with special problems in the area.



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



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

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