What Flor v. Flor means: Pre-2012 Divorces of Long Term Marriages May Mean Indefinite Alimony Obligations

By |2017-11-10T06:25:12+00:00November 10th, 2017|Alimony, Divorce, Divorce & Finances|0 Comments

What does Flors v. Flors mean?

If you were married over 20 years and signed a divorce agreement before March 1, 2012, which is the date of the new alimony statute, your obligation to start alimony payments after 2012 will not be guided by the new statute and its durational limitations.  The old law will apply to your case.

This means, that, for divorces that occurred before 2012 in which the marriages were over 20 years, the 2012 alimony statute will not be used to automatically terminate your alimony obligation at full social security retirement age.   The Appeals Court made this clear in the recent Flors case, in which the husband paid only child support prior to 2012.  The divorce agreement acknowledged that the wife waived her right to past and present alimony, but reserved her right to seek future alimony.  The wife in Flors did not seek alimony until 2016, which was well past the start of the new alimony law in 2012.

One could assume that since alimony started after the date of the 2012 alimony law, then the limitations imposed by this law would apply to any new legal actions that took place after this law became effective in 2012.  However, the Appeals Court in Flors carved out an exception for marriages over 20 years in which the divorce occurred prior to the 2012 alimony law, because even though the Wife had not been receiving alimony prior to 2012, she reserved her right to receive it in the future.  The Appeals Court suggested that Wife negotiated the delay in alimony with the expectation that she could seek it in the future and be paid for an indefinite period of time, which was the law at the time of her divorce.

Therefore, under this Appeals Court analysis, Wife’s right to receive alimony after 2012 is for an indefinite period of time and will not automatically terminate upon the payor/husband reaching full social security retirement age, which has been the alimony law since 2012.  To be clear, those who had marriages over 20 years when they divorced prior to March 1, 2012 are obligated to pay alimony for an indefinite period of time.  Whereas those who were married over 20 years but who divorced after March 1, 2012 will be able to terminate their alimony obligation at full social security retirement age. 

Clearly, timing is everything.

About the Author:

For over 33 years, Marcia Mavrides, founding attorney at Mavrides Law, has been a recognized leader in divorce and family law throughout Massachusetts.Her Boston based firm, Mavrides Law, focuses exclusively on divorce and family law, including: divorce, complex asset division, support, and custody disputes. The team of experienced attorneys at Mavrides Law work closely with their clients, empowering them with the tools and information needed to shape their future and move forward with their lives.Attorney Mavrides is listed in the top 5% of lawyers, has an AV preeminent rating, has been consistently designated among the Top Women Lawyers in Family Law, and has been named to Massachusetts and New England Superlawyers many years in a row.

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