How Retirement Affects Alimony

How Retirement Affects Alimony


Ending the Alimony Obligation

Among the many concerns regarding alimony raised by clients is whether the alimony obligation continues when the payor retires. In 2014, alimony law in New Jersey was reformed to address this very issue among many others. With the passage of the new law, alimony can terminate or be modified when the obligor (i.e. the paying spouse) retires.

The reform only applies to alimony orders issued after the passage of the law. For alimony orders issued before that date, however, the court has a number of factors it considers before deciding to modify or terminate alimony when the obligor retires.

The presumption that alimony terminates when the obligor retires can be overcome for good cause. If the spouse receiving the alimony can show good cause to have the alimony obligation continued or modified instead of terminated, the court will consider a number of factors and may set a new termination date for the alimony. These factors include:

  • The ages of the spouses at the time of retirement
  • The ages of the spouses at the time of marriage and at the time the alimony order was issued
  • The degree and duration of the financial dependence of the recipient spouse on the obligor during the marriage
  • Whether the recipient exchanged property or goods for a longer or more substantial alimony award
  • The duration and amount of the alimony order
  • The health of the spouses at the time of retirement
  • The assets of the spouses at the time of retirement
  • Whether the obligor has reached full retirement age
  • The income sources of the spouses
  • Whether the recipient had the chance to save adequately for retirement, and
  • Any other factor the court finds relevant

While alimony may be terminated when the obligor reaches full retirement age, any alimony arrearage (i.e. past due alimony) will not be vacated. The obligor must still pay the arrearage in full. If you have questions about alimony and retirement, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney. Even if you are still in the midst of a divorce, an attorney can help you get an alimony order that will protect your financial interests now and in the future. If you are nearing retirement, an attorney may be able to help you terminate or modify your alimony obligation according to the new alimony law.


If you have questions about alimony, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can defend your rights and protect your financial interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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