Rehabilitative alimony is one of the four (4) types of alimony identified by Massachusetts statute. Specifically, rehabilitative alimony is the periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is expected to become economically self-sufficient by a predicted time. Like general term alimony, the amount of rehabilitative alimony should not exceed the recipient’s need or 30-35% of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes.
It is important to remember that there are characteristics that are unique to rehabilitative alimony. For instance, unless modified, rehabilitative alimony is payable for a maximum of 5 years. Additionally, rehabilitative alimony terminates upon remarriage of recipient, death of either party, or upon the occurrence of a specific event, presumably set forth in the Judgment. Further, the term for payment of rehabilitative alimony may be extended if the recipient has not remarried, upon a complaint for modification filed by the recipient spouse and a showing of compelling circumstances; such circumstances include unforeseen events that prevented the recipient spouse from becoming self-supporting within the five year term. In such a modification action, the Court shall give due consideration to the length of the parties’ marriage.