While it is always important to plan your finances with an eye on the long-term, it can be especially important for alimony payors who are thinking about retiring. When an individual who is paying alimony retires, it is natural for them to want to reduce alimony payments in accordance with the change in circumstance of their economic situation.
The issue that arises however, is if the payor and their Chester alimony attorney wait until after retirement to petition for a modification of the existing alimony agreement, the payor will be paying their regular alimony rate throughout the course of the court’s hearings and deliberations, and it is always a possibility that the courts deny the petition for a modification of the existing alimony agreement.
Early Modification of Alimony Attorney Chester, NJ
Thankfully, New Jersey’s Alimony Statute, N.J.S.A 2A:34-23(j), allows for individuals to petition for a modification of their alimony settlement in advance of their retirement. This allows for the individual considering retirement to receive judgement regarding their Mendham alimony modification petition before they have to make their final decision regarding their retirement. If the Morris County alimony courts agree that the circumstances call for a modification of alimony when the payor does retire, you can proceed with your plans with the confidence that your alimony payments will be reduced in accordance with the change in your income. If, on the other hand, the courts deny your petition to modify alimony payments, you can decide to continue to work until you have saved enough money to continue to make expected payments and afford your retirement plan.
NJ Judge Rules on Modification of Alimony Pending Retirement
In the recent case of Mueller v. Mueller, the Honorable L.R. Jones provided the following statements regarding the early modification of alimony pending a retirement decision.
“The amendment permitting a court to presently consider an obligor’s prospective retirement, as opposed to an actual retirement, is logically designed to avoid placing an obligor in a “Catch 22” financial situation. Specifically, if an obligor is considering the possibility of retirement in the near future, he or she logically benefits from knowing in advance, before making the decision to actually leave the workforce, whether the existing alimony obligation will or will not change following retirement. Otherwise, if the obligor first retires and unilaterally terminates his or her primary significant stream of income before knowing whether the alimony obligation will end or change (and if so to what degree, i.e., termination vs. modification), then the obligor may find him/herself in a precarious financial position following upon such voluntary departure from employment if the court, for whatever specific reason, does not terminate or significantly reduce the existing alimony obligation.”
Planning Your Retirement around your Morris County Alimony Settlement
As you can see, the New Jersey law allows you to plan for your retirement and have the confidence of knowing what your Mendham alimony obligations may be after a modification of alimony ruling. If you are considering retirement, and would like to seek a modification of your alimony agreement on the basis of your future changed economic circumstances, your best bet is to speak with an experienced Chatham, NJ alimony attorney in order to draft a complete financial plan post-retirement, and include that plan with your petition to Morris County alimony courts so that they can properly evaluate your case.
Having advanced knowledge of what your future alimony obligations will be after your retirement is of extreme benefit. It is highly recommended that you, along with your Chatham alimony attorney, petition for alimony modification under New Jersey Alimony Statute’s prospective retirement provision.
Contact a Chester Alimony Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients modifying alimony settlements for clients across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, and the greater Morris County area.
Practicing exclusively family law, our firm is uniquely suited to helping you with any divorce or family law related issue, including alimony settlements and alimony modifications. Being able to focus on one specific area of law gives us an edge over other firms, we have the experience, knowledge, and creative strategies that you need to favorably settle your divorce and alimony issues.