Q: My husband and I divorced after 25 years of marriage. I was in my 50’s and had never held a job outside the house. I receive indefinite spousal support. What will happen to my spousal support when my spouse retires?
You are right to be concerned. Your husband has the right to request a modification in your California spousal support agreement if his income changes due to retirement. While it is unlikely that courts will terminate your spousal support, the court may reduce the spousal support order based on your ex’s income.
For many people, retirement means a significant decrease in income. When your spousal support agreement was created, the court considered many factors, including your ex-spouse’s income, your income, your assets, your ex-spouse’s assets, and your ability to support yourself. If any of these factors change, the support order can be modified.
Determining Factors When Modifying a Spousal Support Order
Your ex has a right to retire. The court cannot penalize him because his income has decreased after retirement. When modifying the support order, the court will consider:
- Your income from all sources
- Your ex’s retirement income, including Social Security, pension, and investment income
- Your needs
- Your ex’s needs
- Your assets
- Your ex’s assets
- Your ability to support yourself
If you are concerned about how your spouse’s retirement will affect your spousal support, contact a San Francisco spousal support attorney. He’ll be able to answer your questions and help protect your interests.
If you are getting divorced after a marriage of 20 years or longer, careful planning can help you avoid a sudden loss of income at retirement. For more information, contact the San Francisco divorce lawyers at The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan at 415-341-1144.