Reducing Spousal Maintenance Payments During Retirement

 Posted on June 30, 2020 in Alimony / Maintenance

Reducing Spousal Maintenance Payments During RetirementWhat happens to spousal maintenance after you retire? If you are the person paying maintenance, it would be wrong for you to assume that your maintenance payments will end when you retire. You can terminate maintenance payments only when:

  • You reach the agreed termination date
  • A significant decrease in your income or increase in the recipient’s income makes it appropriate to end payments
  • The recipient remarries
  • The recipient fails to make an effort to become self-supporting

Retirement may give you grounds to decrease your maintenance payments, but terminating payments is unlikely. There are several factors that determine whether and how much you can modify spousal maintenance when you retire.

How Long Is the Spousal Maintenance Supposed to Last?

The duration of your spousal maintenance payments can be a set number of years or indefinite, pending future review or requests for modification. Two circumstances are needed for a court to grant indefinite maintenance:

  • The spouses were married for at least 20 years.
  • It is unrealistic for the recipient to be able to support themselves at the same standard of living as during their marriage.

When you agree to pay maintenance for an indefinite period, you bear the burden of proving why the payments should be reduced or terminated.

How Has Retirement Affected Your Income?

For many people, retirement means a decrease in their monthly income. Depending on your age, you may not have access to your full retirement benefits. Even with full access, you may have anticipated that you would be living on a decreased income. A permanent reduction in income following retirement is often enough reason for a court to reduce your maintenance payments. If the recipient’s income is equal to or greater than your own following your retirement, the court may consider terminating maintenance.

Was Your Retirement Voluntary?

The court will also consider the reason for your retirement and whether the reduction in income was voluntary. You may have been forced to retire because your employer has a mandated retirement age or your declining health makes it too difficult for you to continue working. If you chose to retire at an early age despite your ability to continue working, the court may consider it a voluntary reduction in income and deny your request to decrease the payments.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

When you want to modify your spousal maintenance payments, you need to present a strong argument for why the modification is necessary. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group will prepare the financial evidence that will allow you to modify your maintenance payments. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.



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