Burke Levy, P.C.

Did alimony get left out of your divorce settlement?

Did you rush through the divorce process and end up with a settlement that really isn't serving you well? It happens. Numerous Massachusetts residents who end up going through the divorce process just want to get it over with as soon as possible. That is understandable, but if you rushed through and now find yourself, say, financially struggling because you never thought to ask for alimony, you may be asking yourself if there is anything you can do about it.

After a divorce judgment is entered and the final decree issued, you may feel like things are pretty permanent and that no modifications to the order can be made -- except where children are concerned. Luckily, that is not the case. It may be possible to seek alimony if it was not included in your divorce judgment. 

Seeking post-decree alimony 

In order to seek alimony after the issuing of a divorce decree, it becomes a matter of filing a complaint in court. There is no official form to do this. It is up to you to draft a complaint, file it in either the Family Court that processed your divorce or in your local Family Court if you've since moved. Along with filing the complaint, it is necessary to pay court fees and have the complaint served on your ex. 

Filing a complaint for alimony does not guarantee that a judge will grant the request. The court will look at several factors before it will be willing to adjust a divorce judgment. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Alimony was never discussed before the initial judgment
  • Each party's current financial situation
  • Length of the marriage
  • Any special circumstances -- such as disability or illness

There are many others, but these are the big ones that could make or break your case for spousal support. 

Don't go it alone

If you failed to seek alimony, for whatever the reason, it may not be too late. If the circumstances are just right, you may still be able to get it. Along with filing an official support complaint, seeking post-decree alimony will require a hearing. This is not something you have to go through alone. You can have legal counsel at your side to present your case. 

While there are never any guarantees when it comes to receiving alimony, with help you can make a case for yourself and do everything possible to fight for it. 

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