On April 2, 2014 the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that: “temporary alimony is separate and distinct from general term alimony and that the duration of temporary alimony is not included in calculating the maximum presumptive duration of general term alimony.” (See Holmes v. Holmes)
This means that if you are in the process of divorce and there is a temporary order of alimony the court will likely not include any temporary alimony payments in calculating the final determination of alimony. Thus, a recipient of alimony may receive several months if not years more in alimony than if temporary alimony were counted towards their ultimate alimony award. Conversely, a payor of alimony may ultimately pay substantially more as they do not get to the benefit of deducting temporary alimony payments from their ultimate obligation.
This case is clearly a “win” for individuals that may be eligible for alimony as it allows them to reap the benefits of temporary alimony without it counting against their ultimate award. In my opinion, individuals who may have an alimony obligation now have a further incentive to settle their divorce.
I wish you all the best,
Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP
310 Washington Street, Suite 201
Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481
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