Ask a Divorce Lawyer Series: Infidelity

Question: "What percentage of MA divorce settlements are altered due to infidelity, and can one party's infidelity affect alimony in a long term marriage?"

Answer: Massachusetts is primarily a no-fault state. In other words, in general, the courts do not award punitive damages for adulterous behavior. If one party's conduct resulted in dissipation of assets or expenditures to pay for the adulterous relationship, then that dollar amount may be added back into the marital estate.

Separately, alimony in Massachusetts is based on the need of the recipient and the ability of the payor to pay. If you have a long term marriage, you may be obligated to pay alimony until your full social security retirement age. Depending on your individual situation, you may argue that your spouse has the capacity to become gainfully employed and that little or no alimony should be paid.

You should consult with a family law attorney regarding your situation and strategies to resolve issues in your case. Since every case is different, this answer is simply meant to act as a brief and very general overview, and should not be construed as legal advice for any specific situation or set of facts.

To speak with a lawyer about divorce or a child custody matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston or Wellesley, MA. To schedule an in-depth initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm at

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