The law is still new for us too, and the appellate courts haven't weighed in yet. Judges at a seminar in my county all seem ready to uphold the new time limits, and from what I've heard it's being done. But judges have discretion to just modify, and each case will still turn on its own facts. If the receiving spouse risks penury thru no fault of his/her own while the other lives the life of Riley, i.e., the extreme case, expect that the law, which allows for extension, will also be applied.
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
I was at a seminar yesterday, and it seems to be at variance, but
with a tendency to modify or terminate from the few judges who were
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My experience is that the judges are upholding the law. I would advise sitting down with an attorney and reviewing your separation agreement and specific situation in order to receive a more accurate and personal answer.
Best of luck,
Melissa Levine is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Levine answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.
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