You and your spouse have been together for many decades, but now, as you approach your golden years, you have both decided that you’re not happy together any longer. You want to divorce, and you want to move on separately.
You understand that your spouse hasn’t worked as much during the marriage as you, and they may need some additional financial support for the next few years before you go into retirement. At the same time, you want to make sure that when you retire, you’re able to cut back on outgoing expenditures and avoid continuing to pay spousal support.
Your spousal support obligation may end at retirement
In New Jersey, there is a presumption that spousal support should be terminated at the time when the person making the payments retires. This is rebuttable by your spouse, but in general, the support you pay may end at that time.
The state isn’t going to get involved in modifying an order that you have if you previously agreed to pay support years into your retirement unnecessarily, though, so keep that in mind as you work on your spousal support calculations now. You may still want to include verbiage in your agreement that releases you from your obligation on a certain date or when you retire.
The change to allow spousal support obligations to end upon retirement occurred in 2014, along with changes in how alimony is handled when you have changes in your income or who you live with.
Keep your retirement in mind when you start working on your spousal support calculations
If you’re working on your spousal support calculations now, you should keep your retirement in mind. You don’t want to state something that obligates you to continue paying after you retire, so it may be a good idea to talk to your attorney about adding in language to the agreement that would release you from the obligation to pay once you reach retirement age, whatever that may be for you. Doing this can be a second layer of protection that makes your retirement more sustainable in the future.