When Can an Application to Terminate or Modify Alimony due to Retirement be Made?

Since the modification of the New Jersey alimony statute in September 2014 litigants and attorneys have been grappling with how Courts will address many of its new provisions.  NJSA 2A:34-23(j)  provides that “alimony may be modified or terminated upon the prospective or actual retirement of the obligor,’ but up until recently there was no guidance in case law as to when a Court might consider such an application based upon a “prospective”future retirement date.

In August 2016, the case of Mueller v. Mueller (an Ocean County Chancery Division case) was approved for publication.  This case establishes a standard for what might be considered the timing of such an application. Judge Jones indicates in this case that a prospective retirement five years in the future was too far in advance for the Court to consider an application to terminate alimony.  However, the Court suggests that 12 to 18 months prior to actual retirement is the more appropriate timing of such an application.

For more information on applications to terminate or modify alimony, or other family law issues, please contact Georgia Fraser, Esq. of Fraser Family Law Office LLC at (609)223-2099.