If you are paying alimony and you finally reach retirement age, does this change your obligation? For many people, retirement means a significant change in income and lifestyle. Does this mean that the obligation to pay alimony should end or change? Our alimony and retirement attorneys in Bergen County, NJ can help you figure that out.
What is Considered the Normal Retirement Age?
In most cases, people are expected to retire around the age of 65. This is when you can begin collecting social security payments that can help you supplement your retirement income and pay your living expenses.
This often means a big decline in income though, so should it change an alimony agreement? Sometimes retirement can be seen as a good reason to do that, but the court will make other considerations first. It might look at:
- The income and assets of each spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- How retirement could affect the economic status of both spouses
- Whether a retirement was mandatory or voluntary
- The retiring spouse’s occupation
All of this can give a judge a fuller picture of each spouse’s financial situation. From there, one could decide whether the alimony agreement stays in place, gets modified, or ends.
What if a Spouse Retires Earlier Than Expected?
Something that can trigger extra scrutiny is an early retirement. If the paying spouse retires early, the court is going to want to know why. A judge may consider factors like:
- Whether their job had high physical demands
- Whether the paying spouse received a financial incentive to retire early
- Any health issues the paying spouse is dealing with
If the paying spouse had good reasons to retire early, they may be able to modify the alimony agreement. However, if it seems like they just took the chance to retire because it would potentially mean the end of paying alimony, then they are unlikely to get the deal they are looking for from the court.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Renogiate Alimony When I Reach Retirement Age?
Having a lawyer can help you negotiate the best possible deal, whether you are the spouse paying alimony or the one receiving it. The court will look at many factors before making a final decision, so your lawyer has the chance to make a case on your behalf and focus on the elements that could make it easier for you to secure a more favorable agreement.
Contact Our Law Firm
So if you or your former spouse have an alimony agreement and one of you is approaching retirement age, you may want to contact the Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about alimony modifications and what we can do to help you secure the best possible deal.