Can a spouse end alimony by retiring early?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Alimony / Spousal Support |

Establishing alimony in your divorce agreement may help you feel easier about your life once your marriage is over. However, there will likely come a time when your former spouse no longer has an obligation to pay you. It may occur when your ex reaches full retirement age. However, it is also possible that your ex-spouse will seek to retire at an earlier date.

The possibility that your alimony will end because your ex retires early is something you should be aware of. While it could happen, state law does not guarantee that a state court will allow your former spouse to cease paying you in the event of an early retirement.

The retirement must be in good faith

Some people who pay alimony try to get out of the obligation by any possible means. State law takes this into consideration and mandates that a person paying support cannot simply claim early retirement, but must prove that the early retirement is reasonable and that the request is in good faith.

A good faith argument holds that someone is sincere in claiming early retirement. To prove good faith, state law requires that the person paying support must supply all necessary documents to the court, including Case Information Statements and documents stemming from the initial date of alimony and any instances of support modification.

Considerations for good faith

If your former spouse wants to retire early, a court may consider different factors to prove your ex’s good faith, such as your former spouse’s reasons for retiring and if your spouse’s employer is applying pressure for your ex to retire. A court will also look at whether or not your ex will still have a job or work reduced hours after retirement. Additionally, a judge may look at the age when people in your ex’s industry generally retire.

How you may factor into consideration

Your personal status will also contribute to a court’s decision to preserve or end alimony. Under state law, a court will consider your and your former spouse’s age and health. Your expectations concerning retirement during your marriage and at the time of your divorce will also be factors, as well as the expectations of your ex. You may also show whether or not you are financially independent enough to sustain your lifestyle without support.

These are not the only factors that determine good faith. Anything that relates to your ex’s choice to seek early retirement may sway the decision of the court. If losing alimony could pose a problem for you, consider how to prepare evidence to demonstrate your argument.