Posts tagged "1100315"

Lalchandani v. Roddy (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-003-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1988                                       Appeals Court   MANOHAR A. LALCHANDANI  vs.  RUTH H. RODDY.[1] No. 13-P-1988. Hampden.     November 6, 2014. – January 5, 2015.   Present:  Green, Wolohojian, & Blake, JJ.     Divorce and Separation, Alimony, Modification of judgment, Separation agreement.  Contract, Separation agreement.  Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss.       Complaint for divorce filed in the Hampden Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on December 6, 1990.   A motion to dismiss a complaint for modification, which had been filed on March 1, 2013, was heard by Barbara M. Hyland, J.     Mark A. Tanner for the husband. George W. Marion for the wife.     BLAKE, J.  Manohar A. Lalchandani, the former husband (hereinafter, husband) of Ruth H. Roddy (hereinafter, wife) appeals the dismissal of his complaint for modification of a judgment of divorce, in which he sought to decrease or to terminate his alimony obligation.  In a case of first impression under the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 (act), we determine whether a payor spouse who has reached full Social Security retirement age is entitled to modification of his alimony obligation, where that obligation stems from a separation agreement that survived entry of the divorce judgment, but was subsequently modified by agreement of the parties.  See St. 2011, c. 124.  We affirm.[2] Background.  The parties were divorced on September 21, 1992, after nearly twenty-one years of marriage.  The judgment of divorce incorporated the terms of the parties’ separation agreement (1992 agreement), which provided, in pertinent part, that the husband was to (1) pay $ 4,333.33 per month to the wife as alimony until either party’s death or the wife’s remarriage, (2) maintain health insurance for the wife until either party’s death or the wife’s remarriage, and (3) maintain a life insurance policy with a death benefit of $ 200,000 until either party’s death or the wife’s remarriage.  The 1992 agreement further provided that it was to be incorporated — but not merged — into the divorce judgment, and accordingly would retain independent legal significance.[3]  Nevertheless, the 1992 agreement allowed the parties to modify its terms by mutual agreement.  Specifically, the 1992 agreement indicated, “This Agreement shall not be altered or modified except by an instrument signed and acknowledged by the Husband and the Wife.” In October of 1996, the wife filed a complaint for contempt against […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm

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