What is your position on HB1785?

Greetings – I have resided in Belmont since 1982 and lived here also in 1972-1973.

I believe the Massachusetts alimony practice is very unfair. I hope you support HB 1785 – is that so?

If you have not already, please read the recent WSJ and Metrowest articles (and comments) which describe the issues.

I look forward to hearing from you and to relief.

Wall Street Journal article (October 31, 2009)

Metrowest article (November 1, 2009)

4 replies on “What is your position on HB1785?”

  1. Yes, in fact, I am a co-sponsor of this legislation. I have heard from both men and women about instances of court dispositions on alimony that are very unfair.

    This bill has broad sponsorship. Unfortunately, the support is not as deep as it is broad. There is not a consensus that the system per se needs to be changed. The opinion many people in the system express is that, “Yes, judges do make mistakes and some court orders are unfair and yes, feelings run high, but most cases are resolved fairly.”

    I organized a meeting with legislator and advocates on this issue in September. That meeting was basically about sharing stories of bad outcomes. I’ve heard from enough folks about this issue that I do perceive a problem and a need for action. I have offered to some of the local advocates a meeting to further discuss the barriers to action.

  2. Rep Brownsberger, I can not imagine who you have talked to who has participated in the Family Courts in Mass. and would say that the system is not broken. Even the most active Mass Bar Lawyers have been quoted as saying that the current alimony law: Discourages a receiving ex-spouse from being self supportive, leaves no incentive for a paying ex-spouse to work to their ability, and discourages marriage in Mass. Have you read the many horror stories? Have you read the many stories in the media, facts that have been substantiated by investigative reporters? Even the defense Atty. at the Pierce trial stated that the probate court is in total disaray and disfunction. As a State Rep, please do your homework, it is obvious that you do not have a clue about the issue. Go to the website: http://www.massalimonyreform and get the facts.

    1. Hey Steve, lighten up. I’ve heard loud and clear from my constituents about the problems and I do believe them.

      When I say the consensus for change isn’t there yet, I’m reporting a political fact:
      Alimony reform has been pending for years and it hasn’t happened. That means something clear — some people aren’t convinced on the need. That’s what I’m reporting and it’s clear enough. Don’t shoot the messenger.

      I’m willing to work with people to support this bill and you are welcome at the next meeting that we set up on this.

      1. Hi Will,
        Thanks for your speedy response. First of all, I thank you for being a co-sponsor of HB1785. It is so frustrating that so many legislators see the wrong, and move so reluctantly to fix a problem that is hurting so many people. I look forward to attending any meeting that you organize, and would like to help you in any way to educate the un-informed.

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