Premier Family Law Representation In Southern Florida

Mark Abzug

Can retirement affect existing alimony payments?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Alimony

Alimony is often a complex process in a divorce proceeding and requires careful consideration from the courts. But once the court grants alimony, the paying spouse is expected to make continuous payments to the receiving spouse within the guidelines of the final judgment to ensure that the latter can sustain their standard of living through alimony assistance.

But if the payor goes on retirement, will that affect the alimony payments? As it is, no. The paying spouse must continue providing financial support to the receiving spouse despite their retirement. But this is not an absolute rule.

An exception: modification

The court may consider a modification on retirement grounds if the paying spouse is able to prove the following:

  • That the retirement made a substantial change in the payor’s financial circumstances
  • That the retirement occurred before the final judgment
  • That the change caused by retirement is sufficient, permanent and out of the individual’s control

Moreover, the court will also consider the payor’s age, health, the type of work they did, reason for retirement and the average retirement age for that profession. If the court finds the evidence sufficient, it may choose to terminate or reduce the alimony accordingly.

Why do courts allow this?

When one goes on retirement, they do not have the same stable income flow and will rely on retirement funds, savings and any investments they may have. These might not be enough to cover the lifestyle of both the payor and the receiving spouse.

Retirement is not something one usually thinks about when getting a divorce. However, it is important to consider plans for retirement and understand how it may affect alimony.