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Elaine Epstein offers insights in news article on whether alimony may include ‘savings’ award

A pending appeal before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court raises the issue of whether an alimony award can include a spouse’s need to save for future expenses.

The husband in the case is challenging the portion of an alimony award for $1,000 a week for savings and $730 a week for charitable contributions.

Elaine M. Epstein, a partner in Todd & Weld’s Family Law practice group, told Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly that she believes that state law leaves room for both savings and charitable components in alimony awards.

“Our statutes, as I read them, don’t preclude or prohibit charitable and savings components from being considered as a factor of need,” Epstein told the publication. “And neither do our statutes or case law define ‘marital lifestyle’ as spending at the time of separation.”

Ms. Epstein also indicated that state law gives judges broad discretion in fashioning alimony “because the welfare of families is involved and that precludes one-size-fits-all solutions.”

Todd & Weld's Family Law practice group is one of the largest in Massachusetts and brings highly sophisticated and specialized expertise to the areas of divorce, custody and parenting issues, property division, support, modification, contempt, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and appeals.