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A judge may award Rehabilitative Alimony in a case of first impression. The Supreme Judicial Court in
Zaleski v Zaleski., the parties were married for 16 years. If so ordered by the judge, the wife could have been granted general term alimony for a period of 13 years under General Term Alimony. Instead, the judge awarded Rehabilitative Alimony which by statue would only be in place for a period not to exceed 5 years. For a review of both General Term and Rehabilitative alimony
click here. The judge opined that the wife had been employed and was employable and that with reasonable diligence can be “expected to become self-sufficient” within 5 years. The wife appealed as her potential alimony term (see term limits imposed by the Act) was reduced by 8 years. While the judges already possess a great deal of authority on these matters, this case further illustrates that authority. As per the SJC, ”
if a party’s employability in the near future is a realistic prospect, rehabilitative alimony might, with other considerations, be appropriate.” Further, “the prospect of future employment, when based on a past history of commensurate employment followed by a brief hiatus, may be sufficiently predictable, even in the absence of an available, specifically identifiable job.”