A common question people ask is “Can I stop paying spousal support when I retire?” Circumstances might call for a change in the amount for spousal support.  The retirement age is 65 in the state of California. Once you decide to retire, you will be able to request a modification of spousal support.


As the retirement account is divided as part of the property division portion, the courts will not allow double-dipping to enable the supporting spouse to continue to receive retirement, as well as spousal support.


Effect of the Supporting Spouse’s Retirement 


 If you do decide to retire, you may be able to get the support modified or terminated by requesting a modification with the court, it is not an automatic process.  However, it is important to note that if you voluntarily choose to retire early, the court may not consider it reasonable to modify or terminate spousal support, depending on the circumstances.  If the supporting spouse reaches full age of retirement (65) or retires early due to medical reasons, then a court may consider it reasonable to modify or terminate spousal support. 


Circumstances of the Supported Spouse 


Like the supporting spouse, the supported spouse may also be close to retirement age or is not employed due to health reasons so his/her income may also be significantly reduced. The court will weigh each party’s circumstances when making a decision on the supporting spouse’s request. 


Circumstances can always change post-divorce judgment, it may be wise to consider all these options in the original settlement agreement in order to avoid returning to court. However, if this is unable to be settled on through the judgment, then the supporting spouse generally has the ability to file a motion to request a modification in support when he/she decides to retire. The court will weigh a variety of factors in making a decision. 


 If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to shoot us an email or give us a call.