Posts tagged "Phelps"

Becker v. Phelps (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-098-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-951                                        Appeals Court   JILL S. BECKER  vs.  MONT ANDREW PHELPS. No. 13-P-951. Middlesex.     June 2, 2014. – August 22, 2014.   Present:  Green, Trainor, & Grainger, JJ. Divorce and Separation, Alimony.  Contract, Consideration, Waiver.       Civil action commenced in the Middlesex Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on August 2, 2012.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Dorothy M. Gibson, J., and a motion to alter or amend judgment was considered by her.     Jill S. Becker, pro se. Brian P. Heneghan for the defendant.     GRAINGER, J.  The parties, formerly married, raise an interpretive question of first impression under a provision of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011,[1] G. L. c. 208, § 49(a). Background.  The facts are uncontested.  After eight years of marriage the parties divorced on November 9, 2010.  The parties entered into a separation agreement addressing various topics, including the division of marital assets, payment of the expenses of medical insurance and education for the couple’s children, and the parties’ respective obligations to maintain life insurance.  Germane to the issue raised on appeal, the parties also stipulated to two lump sum payments of $ 500,000 in lieu of periodic alimony payments.  The payments were due to be paid by the wife to the husband on or before December 1, 2013, and on or before December 1, 2018.  Unpaid amounts were subject to a four percent annual interest payment commencing December 1, 2011.  These annual payments were terminable upon the death of either party or upon the payment in full of the two lump sums, whichever occurred earlier.  The agreement was incorporated into the judgment of divorce, specifically provided that it would survive the judgment, and contained no other provision for termination of these enumerated obligations.[2] The husband remarriedin June of 2012, after the first four percent annual payment was made.  Shortly thereafter the wife filed a complaint for declaratory relief in the Probate and Family Court asserting that all alimony obligations “were terminated by operation of law.”  She appeals from the dismissal of her complaint and the subsequent denial of her motion to alter or amend the judgment.  For the reasons set forth below we affirm. Proceedings in the Probate and Family Court.  The husband’s motion to dismiss the wife’s complaint relied on the Supreme Judicial Court’s statement in Keller v. […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 23, 2014 at 12:26 am

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