How can I get my alimony obligation terminated or at leaet reduced if I’m about to retire?

I pay $1800 a month in alimony; I was married for 23 years. My alimony has no end date and I’m 56 years old. Is it possible to retire at 62 and either reduce or stop alimony? Don’t we have a right to retire at some point and not have the alimony requirement?

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Family Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As the previous answer correctly points out, a material change in circumstance is necessary before your can get a change in the order.  The problem is that you can't prospectively get the order modified based on a future change in circumstances.  The change in circumstances has to be here and now.  I know that makes planning for retirement difficult.  If there have been any other changes in circumstances, then you may be able to get support reduced in the meantime.  Is she working more?  Has she made any efforts at getting employment?  Is she well qualified?  You may be able to impute income, so that the court says she should be making income even if she isn't.  Even in long term marriages, the payee spouse has an obligation to make efforts to become self supporting.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you are in the Ventura County area I would love to represent you in this matter.

Best of luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

One needs to read your agreement or order on this matter to properly guide you.  So your wife was given permanent alimony?  Was this a marriage of long duration (10 or more years)?  The court will retain jurisdiction for a modification and it is possible even in cases of "permanent" awards.  The basis for your application to the court is that there has been a "detrimental change" in the obligor party's needs or ability to pay outweighs the other's need for support. In other words you will bring a proceeding on the basis of "changed circumstances". Good luck.

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