Posts tagged "Doktor"

Doktor v. Doktor (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-014-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   SJC-11727   JOSEPH W. DOKTOR  vs.  DOROTHY A. DOKTOR.       Berkshire.     October 6, 2014. – January 30, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ. Divorce and Separation, Alimony, Modification of judgment, Separation agreement.  Statute, Retroactive application.       Complaint for divorce filed in the Berkshire Division of the Probate and Family Court Department on March 15, 1991.   A complaint for modification, filed on June 21, 2013, was heard by Beth A. Crawford, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Peter C. Alessio for the husband. Janet H. Pumphrey for the wife.     DUFFLY, J.  Joseph W. Doktor and Dorothy A. Doktor were divorced by a judgment nisi that entered in January, 1992, after a marriage of over twenty years.[1]  The judgment incorporated a separation agreement that, among other things, obligated Joseph to pay alimony to Dorothy in the weekly amount of $ 200 until “the death or remarriage of the Wife.”  That provision merged with the judgment.  In June, 2013, Joseph filed a complaint for modification in the Probate and Family Court, seeking termination of the alimony obligation under G. L. c. 208, § 49 (f), inserted by St. 2011, c. 124 (alimony reform act), which provides that “general term alimony orders shall terminate upon the payor attaining the full retirement age.”  He asserted that he had retired, and was past the normal age of full retirement as defined by the alimony reform act.  See G. L. c. 208, § 48.  Thereafter, he filed an amended complaint for modification, asserting as a further change in circumstances that his former wife was no longer in need of alimony.  Following a trial, a Probate and Family Court judge dismissed the complaint for modification, concluding that G. L. c. 208, § 49 (f) (retirement provision), applies prospectively, and therefore that Joseph was required to, but had not, established that there had been a material change in circumstances warranting modification.  Joseph appealed, and we granted his petition for direct appellate review. This case again raises a question relative to retroactive application of the retirement provision of the alimony reform act to alimony agreements that merged with judgments of divorce entered prior to March 1, 2012, the effective date of the act.  See Chin v. Merriot, ante at    ; Rodman v. Rodman, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 31, 2015 at 12:25 am

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