Can retirement of a paying person impact alimony in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Alimony |

In New Jersey, when a couple gets a divorce, it is common for one spouse to be ordered to pay alimony to the other. There are many factors that are considered when the amount is decided upon. However, there are frequently questions about its duration, when it ends and if there is a chance that it can be modified. Obviously, different financial circumstances might warrant a modification of the alimony award. One issue that can be a challenge is if the paying former spouse – the obligor – has reached full retirement age, wants to retire and wants the alimony to be changed or to end. Both the obligor and the receiving former spouse should know what to do in this situation.

Critical factors about retirement and how it will influence alimony

In general, it is presumed that once an obligor reaches retirement age, the alimony will end. If there are missed payments, the obligor is still expected to pay them. This is a rebuttable presumption and the receiving party can continue getting alimony based on the parties’ ages when the retirement is due to start; the ages when they got married and when the alimony order was put in place; how dependent the recipient is for those payments; if there were property rights exchanged for more alimony or for it to last longer; how long the alimony had already lasted and how much was paid; the parties’ health; their assets; if the recipient has also reached retirement age; their income sources; if the receiving party has enough saved to retire; and other factors the court deems important.

This situation and the rebuttable presumption applies to those who have reached full retirement age. There are different rules under the law for those who have not yet reached full retirement age and still want to retire. If the obligor has not yet reached full retirement age but plans to retire and wants the alimony altered because of it, the court will want to know that it is being done in good faith.

The obligor and recipient should be aware of how retirement impacts alimony

A person’s employment and income is a key aspect of determining how much alimony is to be paid when a couple gets a divorce. At a certain point, the obligor might want to retire. This will be assessed as part of a request to modify or terminate alimony and can be a challenge for the recipient. Perhaps negotiation is possible. If not, it might be wise to go to court. As with any modification or family law concern, it is wise to have professional advice in dealing with this complex issue to reach a positive outcome.