At a May 18 legislative hearing on The Alimony Reform Act of
2011, leaders of the Massachusetts Bar Association urged the bill's
passage, saying it would be landmark reform that would help
MBA President Denise Squillante, who operates a family law
practice in Fall River, said the bill will help avoid costly
hearings and trials by helping both sides negotiate alimony.
Squillante sat on the Legislative Task Force on Alimony Reform
appointed by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary under the
leadership of Sen. Cynthia S. Creem and Rep. Eugene L. O'Flaherty.
Squillante was also co-chair of an earlier committee of MBA and
Boston Bar Association leaders that issued a report on alimony
reform in the spring of 2009.
"Families should no longer have to walk through the Probate and
Family Court doors and be faced with confusing and obsolete laws,
which exacerbates conflict, ultimately hurting families,"
Squillante said in her written statement to the Joint Committee on
the Judiciary. "This legislation would give judges the ability to
set a term limit on alimony orders, which is sorely needed. While
providing for some predictability, this bill is flexible and
comprehensive enough to give judges a critical opportunity to craft
decisions that will be in the best interest of families."
Marc E. Fitzgerald, chair of the MBA's Family Law Section and a
family law practitioner at Casner and Edwards in Boston, advocated
for the bill that brings long-sought durational limits on alimony
The MBA's House of Delegates voted unanimously to support The
Alimony Reform Act of 2011 at its Jan. 20 meeting. The MBA's Family
Law Section has closely monitored the topic of alimony since the
early 1990s, and has in the past filed a series of bills to improve