Friday, July 29, 2011
Joyce And Timilty Support Alimony Reform Bill

The state Senate passed alimony reform Thursday by a 36-0 vote, including Sharon's two state senators.
Sen. Brian Joyce (D-Milton) and James Timilty (D-Walpole) both backed the Alimony Reform Bill of 2011, they said in press releases Friday. Joyce co-sponsored the bill.
The measure is "the first time in two decades that the Legislature has updated the Commonwealth’s alimony laws," Timilty said.
Joyce said it "presents clear categories of alimony, including general term alimony which is the default form of alimony whereby payments are made to an economically dependent former spouse for a length of time based on the years of a marriage, including short-term marriages of five years or less, which traditionally have been excluded."
"For example, if a marriage was five years or less, alimony would be required for no more than one-half of the years married," Joyce said.
"The length of time for alimony increases with the years of marriage. Alimony for a marriage that lasted more than 15 years, and up to 20, could be ordered for up to 80 percent of the number of months married."
Timilty said "he bill "presents clear categories of reform, while also giving judges greater discretion over individual cases in the court room."
The bill also "further clarifies the definition of cohabitation, cases in which an ex-spouse is living with another person, and expels the income of a second spouse as grounds for determination," the senator said.
"This proposal provides for a comprehensive and balanced solution to an issue troubling so many people across the Commonwealth,” Timilty said.
“The measure passed by the Senate today addresses a matter long overdue for reform, and I am happy to support this bill.”
A special task force appointed in 2009 recommended the legislation, he said.
The House now gets the bill for reconciliation, and then heads to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.