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 6

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

“Not everyone can afford a special master”

Levine Dispute Resolution - Alimony

Now, we will consider the role that financial complexity played in undermining the fate of the trial court decision in the Supreme Judicial Court’s (SJC) Young v. Young. The SJC reports that:

    …the [trial] judge found that, because of "the complex nature of [the husband's] compensation over and above his base salary and bonus," and because of "the constantly shifting nature of [the husband's] compensation," "it is reasonable and fair in the circumstances" to award alimony to the wife in the amount of thirty-three percent of the husband's gross income, rather than a fixed amount. (Italics ours)

The husband’s employment income arose from seven different compensation programs, including stock options, bonuses, investor entity units and discount stock purchase program opportunities. The various compensation modes featured differing consistencies, liquidity and transferability attributes, “…both considerable and variable”.

The SJC worried that the trial court’s self-adjusting alimony award (one-third of the husband’s gross pre-tax compensation) would lead to uncertainty of implementation, causing “continued strife” between the parties, citing the potential for inexact drafting and employer-employee collusion (to depress applicable income). The trial judge implicitly recognized the chance of future contention by appointing a special master, to keep the peace. Think: alimony coordinator.

The SJC deadpanned that: “Not everyone can afford a special master.”

If Mr. Young were simply a salaried employee, without the corporate power to manipulate his compensation, might the result have been different?



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



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

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