Is Alimony Terminated Upon Retirement in Florida?
Many people who were ordered to pay alimony to their former spouse wonder, “Will alimony be terminated if I retire?” The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem.
Under Florida law, the spouse paying or receiving spousal support has a right to modify an alimony order if they can prove the following elements:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was put in place; and
- The change is material and involuntary.
“Involuntary” is usually the key word when seeking to terminate or reduce alimony upon retirement since many people retire voluntarily. If you wonder if alimony payments will stop upon retirement in your particular case, consult with Orlando spousal support attorney Steve W. Marsee.
Was Your Retirement Voluntary or Involuntary?
To determine whether alimony will be terminated upon retirement, the court will consider if the retirement was voluntary or involuntary. However, it is not the only factor considered by Florida courts when deciding to terminate or modify alimony upon the payor’s retirement. Other factors include the payor’s:
- Reason for retirement
- The age at which other people in a similar occupation retire
- Whether the retirement was voluntary
Florida courts have previously held that the payor cannot retire voluntarily if their retirement would place their former spouse in “peril of poverty.” Olsen v. Olsen, 964 So. 2d 798 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007).
Thus, when reviewing the payor’s request for modification of alimony upon retirement, the court will consider:
- The needs of the receiving spouse; and
- How terminating or reducing alimony would affect the receiving spouse.
When evaluating the needs of the receiving spouse, the court will consider how much income the spouse has generated and what assets they have accumulated since the original order was issued.
What is the Reasonable Retirement Age?
If you are a payor spouse, it may feel unfair that you are required to put off retirement and continue working so that your former spouse can live off your hard-earned money.
In order to reduce or terminate alimony due to your retirement, you must file a request for modification. As mentioned earlier, you must prove a substantial change in circumstances in order to successfully modify spousal support in Florida.
Retirement may count as a substantial change in circumstances as long as you retire at a “reasonable retirement age.” But what is reasonable retirement in the eyes of Florida courts?
Typically, Florida courts consider 65 to be a reasonable retirement age. In other words, if you petition the court to reduce or terminate alimony because of your retirement at age 60 or 55, the court may deny your request. However, this may not be the case in 100% of all cases. Consult with a lawyer to discuss your chances of reducing or terminating alimony upon retirement.
Modifying alimony upon retirement can be a time-consuming and complicated process, which is why it is essential to have a spousal support attorney on your side to help you reduce or terminate alimony. Schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to discuss alimony modification upon retirement in your unique situation. Call 407-521-7171 to get a consultation.