Section 34 of Chapter 208 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended in the third sentence by striking the words:
“or in fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be so assigned, the court, after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each party, shall consider the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.”;
And by inserting in place thereof the following words:
“the court shall consider all of the following circumstances:
The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient, together with the unearned income described in (h) below, to maintain the preponderance of the standard of living established during the marriage and upon the date of separation, taking into account the marketable skills of whichever party may not then exhibit such sufficient earning capacity and the time and expense of employment counseling and training required to further develop such skills or to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
The willingness and diligence of the party not then exhibiting such earning capacity to seek the employment counseling and training described in (a) above.
The goal that any party needing alimony shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Such reasonable period of time shall be one-half of the length of the marriage. The length of the marriage is the period commencing upon the date of the marriage and ending upon the date of separation, deducting therefrom any period(s) of physical separation during the marriage. Such reasonable period of time, or duration of alimony, shall not exceed twelve years except only when the supported party shall have custody (sole physical or joint (or “shared”) physical) of one or more children of the marriage not then having attained the age of sixteen years as of such twelfth year, in which case alimony shall continue until such one or more children have attained such age.
All alimony due for more than five years shall, beginning with the commencement of the second half of such period of time of alimony and continuing each twelve month period thereafter during such second half, decline by ten percent after the application of (e) below and except only when either: 1) the supported party shall then have custody (sole physical or joint (or “shared”) physical) of one or more children of the marriage then not having attained the age of sixteen years; or 2) the court finds the supported party to be incapable, both physically and mentally, of any gainful employment.
The sole and exclusive reason or cause warranting an increase in the amount of alimony shall be the percentage rise, if any, during the prior calendar year in the Consumer Product Index, as published by the United States Department of Labor, such increase shall commence at the beginning of the calendar year and shall equal such rise provided that the earned income of the supporting party has increased during such prior calendar year by more than three times such percentage increase in such Index.
The obligation of the supporting party to pay alimony shall, without exception, cease upon such party attaining retirement age, as defined in Title II, section 216, of the Social Security Act (42 USC 416).
The ability of the supporting party to pay alimony, taking into account such party’s actual earned income during the prior calendar year, the average of the actual earned income during the three prior calendar years, the cost to maintain the preponderance of the standard of living defined in (a) above, the obligation to pay child support, and the impact on such earned income should the supporting party have custody (sole physical or joint (or “shared”) physical) of one or more children of the marriage.
The unearned income generated by the marital assets owned by the supported party following the divorce.
The duration of the marriage.
The age and health of the parties
The extent, if any, to which the supported party contributed to the attainment by the supporting party of an education, training or license.
There shall be a rebuttable presumption of substantially decreased need for alimony if the supported party is cohabiting with another adult.
(m)The income and assets of any adult cohabiting with the supporting party, whether or
not the supporting party is married to such adult, shall not be considered when
determining or modifying alimony.
(n)All alimony orders and agreements in effect as of the date hereof shall be amended by
the court, within eighteen months of such date, to be in substantial compliance
herewith excepting only that the maximum duration of alimony following such date
shall be the greater of: 1) three years; or 2) three years, plus the reasonable period of
time, as defined in (c) above, less the number of years alimony has been paid prior to
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