781.708.4445

wmlevine@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

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