Can I be forced return to work and not collect Social Security so that I can afford to pay my wife higher alimony?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I be forced return to work and not collect Social Security so that I can afford to pay my wife higher alimony?

I plan to reitre when I turn 62 in February. I plan to file for divorce from my wife of 26 years around the same time. (It’s been a terrible marriage that lasted only due to the kids–who are now grown.) My income will be around $2400 a month ($1700 from Social Security and $700 from a pension). I’m OK with giving her 1/2 of that ($1200/month) and 1/2 of all assets (about $150,000 for each of us). But my current salary is about $6000/month. Can she force me to not retire (or return to work) so that she can get more alimony (i.e., to better maintain her current lifestyle)?

Asked on November 23, 2010 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with a family law or divorce attorney. The answer is, you may not be able to do this. If you lower your income at the same time that you file for divorce--and when lowering you income is voluntary (i.e. you want to retire; you don't have to), there will be an assumption, perhaps even a presumption, that you are doing this specifically to reduce your potential obligation. In that case, your support obligation may be set at the level you had been and could be earning, not at the lower level you would like, because the assumption will be you could make that much money. Especially 62 is generally considered a somewhat early retirement and results in you getting less social security, it will look like you are deliberately making an unfair or spiteful choice. Consult with an attorney about the best timing, strategy, etc. before doing anything.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption