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How Does Retirement Affect Your Alimony?

Blog, Divorce & Family Law

Posted in on March 4, 2016

Under the terms of the Alimony Reform Act (“Act”), which took effect on March 1, 2012, general term alimony shall terminate when the payor spouse reaches full retirement age. Retirement age is defined as the age at which the payor is eligible to receive full retirement benefits under the U.S. Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program. A payor’s ability to work beyond full retirement age is NOT a reason to extend alimony. In a divorce proceeding, a court may extend alimony beyond retirement age however must then also make written findings to support the deviation.

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A payor spouse paying alimony pursuant to a pre-Act alimony award may not file a Complaint for Modification based solely upon having reached retirement age. The Act is applied prospectively and attainment of retirement age does not meet the necessary standard of substantial change in circumstances for a Complaint for Modification. Modifications brought by a payor spouse who has reached full retirement age must allege grounds for modification in addition to his/her age. Some examples of when a payor spouse may seek modification of alimony include if the alimony award exceeds the durational limits specified in the Alimony Reform Act, loss of employment, loss of income and inability to work due to health or age. Attainment of retirement age must always be coupled with some of the grounds listed above to obtain a modification.

If you have an alimony order and believe you are entitled to a reduction or termination of that order, contact the family law team at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro to discuss your options. – Lisa Bond.