You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Alimony Reform’ category.

The Massachusetts alimony reform bill (H1785) is for now stuck in committee while key legislators are busy with the casino bill battle.

A compromise alimony reform bill is being worked on in the Alimony Reform Task force.

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Cynthia Creem

Sen. Cynthia Creem may be Softening her Position Against Alimony Reform.

Creem has long been an opponent of Alimony Reform. When the current Alimony Reform bill (H1785) was introduced this year, Creem introduced a counter proposal S1616, sponsored by the various bar associations which would make a single two word change to the current law, and preserve current lack of guidelines. The lack of guidelines make Alimony notoriously contentious to litigate and expensive for both the State and litigants.

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Alimony Reform almost certain to get a second extension. Shared Parenting and CORI Reform on life-support.

This year’s deadline for legislative committees to act on bills was March 17th. Any bill that was not referred out of committee or extended on that day is dead for this legislative session. But a committee may give certain bills and extension order – this year until May 7th.

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Rep. Eugene O'Flaherty

Representative Eugene O’Flaherty is House Chair of the Judiciary Committee. In that position he has the power to block any legal reform he doesn’t like. No matter how popular the reform, or how much public or legislative support it has, if he doesn’t like it, it doesn’t go through.

And there is a long list of popular reforms that he’s been able to block for years. Many eventually get through – but not before a lot of damage is done.

This year O’Flaherty is blocking:

  • CORI Reform (H3523),
  • Shared Parenting (H1400)
  • Alimony Reform (H1785)

Each of these bills have been introduced for the past several years. All of them have wide popular and legislative support. Many legislators have legitimate differences over over these bills – but they have never gotten an opportunity to debate them – because O’Flaherty has already decided – they aren’t coming out of committee. Whether you are for them or against them, I think all people of good will believe that these are the types of issues which should be debated before the entire legislature, and where legislators, as representatives of the people can vote their conscience.

But Rep. O’Flaherty doesn’t think so. And even though he represents only the city of Chelsea, he is happy to decide these issues for everyone. His answer is “no”.

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The Massachusetts State House

Today was the legislative deadline to refer bills out of committee. After today, unless your bill was ‘late filed’ or got a special extension – then it’s dead. At least until next year.

I called the legislature about two bills I care about H1400 (Shared Parenting) and H1785 (Alimony Reform) and fortunately both have gotten extensions.  They are both still alive until at least May 7th.

I doubt H1400 will make it out of committee this year. I think it will be successfully blocked by just a few legislators. Even though Shared Parenting is very popular with voters – like many issues – it will be blocked by two committee chairmen – Cindy Creem and Gene O’Flaherty. Read the rest of this entry »

Cynthia Creem

The public debate over two dueling alimony reform bills has called into question whether Sen. Cynthia Creem has a conflict of interest.

There are two bills currently up for discussion in the Legislature, s1616 and h1785. Both concern time limits for alimony payments.

Massachusetts’ current alimony law does not empower judges to cap the duration of an alimony award, enabling post-divorce settlements that can last a lifetime. The current law has drawn fire from alimony payors who say they’ve been forced for years to pay large percentages of their incomes, occasionally forcing them into bankruptcy. Read the rest of this entry »

RSS Massachusetts Election 2010

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