REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS (Chapters 183 through 210)
Termination, suspension or modification of general term alimony
[Text of section applicable as provided by 2011, 124, Sec. 4.]
Section 49. (a) General term alimony shall terminate upon the remarriage of the recipient or the death of either spouse; provided, however, that the court may require the payor spouse to provide life insurance or another form of reasonable security for payment of sums due to the recipient in the event of the payor’s death during the alimony term.
(b) Except upon a written finding by the court that deviation beyond the time limits of this section are required in the interests of justice, if the length of the marriage is 20 years or less, general term alimony shall terminate no later than a date certain under the following durational limits:
(1) If the length of the marriage is 5 years or less, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than one-half the number of months of the marriage.
(2) If the length of the marriage is 10 years or less, but more than 5 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 60 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.
(3) If the length of the marriage is 15 years or less, but more than 10 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 70 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.
(4) If the length of the marriage is 20 years or less, but more than 15 years, general term alimony shall continue for not longer than 80 per cent of the number of months of the marriage.
(c) The court may order alimony for an indefinite length of time for marriages for which the length of the marriage was longer than 20 years.
(d) General term alimony shall be suspended, reduced or terminated upon the cohabitation of the recipient spouse when the payor shows that the recipient spouse has maintained a common household, as defined in this subsection, with another person for a continuous period of at least 3 months.
(1) Persons are deemed to maintain a common household when they share a primary residence together with or without others. In determining whether the recipient is maintaining a common household, the court may consider any of the following factors:
(i) oral or written statements or representations made to third parties regarding the relationship of the persons;
(ii) the economic interdependence of the couple or economic dependence of 1 person on the other;
(iii) the persons engaging in conduct and collaborative roles in furtherance of their life together;
(iv) the benefit in the life of either or both of the persons from their relationship;
(v) the community reputation of the persons as a couple; or
(vi) other relevant and material factors.
(2) An alimony obligation suspended, reduced or terminated under this subsection may be reinstated upon termination of the recipient’s common household relationship; but, if reinstated, it shall not extend beyond the termination date of the original order.
(e) Unless the payor and recipient agree otherwise, general term alimony may be modified in duration or amount upon a material change of circumstances warranting modification. Modification may be permanent, indefinite or for a finite duration, as may be appropriate. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit alimony reinstatement after the recipient’s remarriage, except by the parties’ express written agreement.
(f) Once issued, general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payor attaining the full retirement age. The payor’s ability to work beyond the full retirement age shall not be a reason to extend alimony, provided that:
(1) When the court enters an initial alimony judgment, the court may set a different alimony termination date for good cause shown; provided, however, that in granting deviation, the court shall enter written findings of the reasons for deviation.
(2) The court may grant a recipient an extension of an existing alimony order for good cause shown; provided, however, that in granting an extension, the court shall enter written findings of:
(i) a material change of circumstance that occurred after entry of the alimony judgment; and
(ii) reasons for the extension that are supported by clear and convincing evidence.