Alimony is a frequent concern in a New Jersey family law case. The amount, duration and whether modifications are possible are some of the issues that come to the forefront. People who are expecting a radical life change like retirement will also want to know what happens with their alimony. This is true from the perspective of the obligor who is paying and the obligee who is receiving. When an obligor has reached full retirement age, it is important to understand what the law says about alimony.
Alimony may terminate upon the paying party’s retirement
Based on Social Security law, retirement age to receive full benefits is currently 66 years and two months old for those born in 1955. Under state law, alimony will terminate when the paying party reaches retirement age and retires unless there is proof that it should continue.
If there are past payments due, they will not be eliminated upon retirement and still must be paid except when they are vacated. Still, the court can change the date at which the alimony ends regardless of the obligor reaching retirement age. There must be justifiable reason to do so.
Alimony can continue after retirement age and retirement, depending on the following factors: the age of the parties when they apply to retire; the ages when they got married and when the alimony award was made; how reliant the receiving party is on the alimony to meet their financial needs; and if the obligee has exchanged property or rights so the alimony can be higher or last longer.
It will also consider: how long alimony has been paid and how much it was; the parties’ respective health situations when retirement will happen; the parties’ assets; if the receiving party has reached full retirement age; where they get their income; if there are adequate retirement savings; and other factors the court considers relevant.
For alimony and retirement concerns, having professional help is essential
People may be looking forward to retirement, but have lingering worries about their financial situation. Alimony is a key part of a divorce proceeding and when there is a chance that it will continue or be stopped, it can be troubling to the paying party or the receiving party. For assistance with trying to find a solution to these challenges, it is useful to have professional representation.