Van Arsdale v. Van ArsdaleAnnotate this Case
The application of the durational limits of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 to certain alimony agreements that predate the Act is not unconstitutionally retroactive.
Here, William Van Arsdale filed a complaint for modification in 2015 seeking to terminate his alimony obligation. The probate and family court terminated William’s obligation to pay Susan Van Arsdale alimony because the Act’s relevant durational limit had been exceeded and Susan had not shown that deviation from them was necessary. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the application of the Act’s duration limits to the alimony agreement between William and Susan was not unconstitutionally retroactive; and (2) the probate and family court judge did not abuse her discretion when she declined to deviate from the durational limits in this case.