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Does Spousal Support continue after an early retirement?

An elderly man wondering if spousal support continues after retirement

As you approach retirement age, you might begin to wonder how that will influence the regular payments you send to support your spouse. After all, if your monthly pay is different, you can’t be expected to send the same amount, right?

Likewise, if you are still dependent on support send from your ex, you will inevitably have some concern that their retirement might significantly change your financial situation.

May not be an easy answer

This isn’t a simple “yes” or “no” answer. When making the decision, the court will carefully take into consideration all the factors at play.

What is the reason for the early retirement?

There may be a big difference in the final decision depending on if the retirement occurred because of health issues compared to one where a partner simply deciding that they had enough in the savings account for themselves.

An early retirement due to legitimate health concerns may be seen as a “material change in circumstances”, meaning that spousal payments will be recalculated based this new and reduced income.

It is important to note that it must be proven that health reasons caused an early retirement. A minor injury or consistent but minimal health maladies may not be enough to convince the courts that you have a justifiable reason to retire.

If someone has decided to retire early but still has the capacity to work, the courts may impute income, rather than considered the new and lower income.

If the retirement is voluntary, have any agreements been made with the spouse in advance?

A possible alternative would be if there has been an agreement made in advance between you and your spouse. If there is still an amiable relationship, it is possible that both parties can come to an agreement that works in everyone’s interests.

Consult with your Lawyer

The best approach is to talk to your lawyer before making any decision so that you are fully aware of the consequences of your actions. They will be able to examine all perspectives from an objective point of view and give you sound legal advice.