If I Retire, Do I Still Need to Pay Alimony in California?

old couple sitting on a bench

When you retire, you may be eager to start the next chapter of your life. However, it’s imperative to understand what will happen if you are currently paying alimony to a recipient spouse. This is something many fail to take into consideration before divorcing, and it can come as a shock. As such, the following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and why it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of Los Angeles spousal support attorneys.

How Does Retirement Impact Alimony Payments in California?

Under California law, a spouse who reaches retirement age, which for most is 65 years old, does not have to keep working in order to meet their spousal support needs. However, this does not mean you can simply stop paying alimony. If you are retiring, you’ll still need to petition the court for the termination or reduction of payments.

It’s important to note that the courts are aware that spouses who experience a drastic change in income, whether this is suffering an injury that prevents them from working or they reach retirement age, should not have to continue making alimony payments. As such, if you are retiring early, your payments may not be terminated or reduced. This is because the decrease in income must be out of your control, otherwise, you could be held to the same payments you made before your retirement. Generally, the courts will consider the following if you are looking to terminate spousal support due to early retirement:

  • How old each party is
  • Whether the dependant spouse has had the opportunity to build a savings account
  • If either spouse suffers health issues
  • How long you were married
  • The physical demands of the retiring spouse’s job
  • Any other factors the court may deem relevant

The courts have a responsibility to ensure you are terminating alimony in good faith and not to spite your ex-spouse.

If I’m Ready to Retire, Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you want to retire, it’s imperative to ensure you take the necessary steps to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your circumstances. As such, connecting with an experienced attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group to discuss your legal options is critical. Unfortunately, trying to navigate these circumstances on your own can have an unfavorable outcome.

Not only can your attorney help you file the petition to terminate alimony, but they can also represent you during the court hearing to prove you have no ill intent toward your ex-spouse but are ready to enjoy your golden years after being a member of the workforce for decades.

When you’re ready to retire but are worried about what will happen with the alimony you owe your spouse, the team at the Zitser Family Law Group can help. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you during these complex legal matters.

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