This is the last of our three part series regarding recent changes to the New Jersey’s alimony law. In previous blogs, we discussed revisions of the various provisions of the New Jersey alimony statute. In this blog, we will discuss what happens to alimony awards when the supporting spouse retires.

When An Alimony Payor Spouse Reaches Retirement Age

The revisions create what is known as a “rebuttable presumption” that alimony will terminate upon the retirement age of the supporting spouse. In order to overcome this presumption, the court considers the following factors:

  • ages of both parties during marriage, divorce, and time of application
  • economic dependency of the recipient spouse
  • whether recipient spouse gave up property rights for an alimony award
  • length of alimony payments
  • health status of the parties
  • retirement savings and assets of recipient spouse as well as sources of income of both parties<
  • other relevant factors

Once the court finds that the rebuttable presumption has been overcome, it must apply the standard factors used to determine modification or termination of alimony. If the supporting spouse has contemplated retirement but is still working, the court is mandated to fashion its own conditions to modify or terminate alimony payments.

When A Payor Spouse Wants to Retire Early Before The Retirement Age

In this scenario, the modifying party must show by the preponderance of the evidence that the retirement is both reasonable and made in good faith. The court then must also consider the following factors:

  • ages and health status of the parties
  • the retirement age at the supporting spouse’s job
  • whether there are any mandatory dates of retirement or whether continued employment would not result in increase of retirement benefits

Once again, as stated above, if the supporting spouse is still working and has not yet retired at the time of filing the application, the similar standard stated above applies.

What Happens If My Alimony Order or Agreement Went Into Effect Before the Law Changed?

The new laws did not create a rebuttable presumption, which means that it will not terminate unless the modifying can demonstrate otherwise. In this scenario, the court will apply the test used for the payor spouse that wants to retire before the retirement age. The new law does away with the requirement to make an initial good faith showing of retirement, but instead, imposes the requirement for the court to consider whether the supporting spouse has the ability to adequately save for retirement.

The Bronzino Law Firm: Knowledgeable Ocean County Alimony Lawyer

When people retire, their income diminishes, which may make it difficult for them to continue to meet their alimony obligations. Likewise, the recipient spouse may depend on their ex-spouse’s alimony payments and as such, may have to fight their impending modification action based on their retirement. Whatever situation you find yourself in, please contact The Bronzino Law Firm at (732) 812-3102 for a complimentary initial consultation.