After a long term marriage, when divorce occurs when people are older and getting to the time of retirement, the issues of alimony and equitable distribution require planning for retirement.

If someone is getting divorced at age 55 who is married for 25 years but can retire at 67, the alimony may stop at retirement. Can the dependent spouse manage financially? Other assets such as retirement savings, a house, and pensions need to be equitably divided. The key is what is equitable? Fifty/fifty split of such assets may not be equitable if alimony is going to stop and the dependent spouse is expected to live for several years without the alimony before he or she can retire.

The Court will consider:

  1. The ages of the parties at the time of the application for retirement;
  2. The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage or civil union and their ages at the time of the alimony award;
  3. The degree and duration of the economic dependency of the recipient upon the pay or during the marriage or civil union;
  4. Whether the recipient has foregone or relinquished or otherwise sacrificed claims, rights or property in exchange for a more substantial or longer alimony award;
  5. The duration or amount of alimony already paid;
  6. The health of the parties at the time of the retirement application;
  7. Assets of the parties at the time of the retirement application;
  8. Whether the recipient has reached full retirement age as defined by Social Security;
  9. Sources of income, both earned and unearned, of the parties;
  10. The ability of the recipient to have saved adequately for retirement

It is important to view the future reasonably and in good faith. Alimony in New Jersey is not based on a formula and is fact sensitive. Alimony is taxable to the recipient and deductible to the payer.

Tanya N. Helfand, Esq. handles Family Law in NY and NJ, Bankruptcy, Municipal Court defense, Worker’s Compensation and Department of Child Protection and Permanency parental representation. We have a consultation. She is a Certified Matrimonial Attorney and mediator. The firm welcomes your questions and inquiries. Everything is confidential. This article is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney.