In a recent case, a man sought a reduction in alimony due to his retirement at age 64. He had agreed at age 58 to pay permanent alimony. On appeal, the ex-wife argued that the man was not entitled to a reduction in alimony because he should have known at the time of the Agreement (when he was 58) that he would retire, and should, therefore, have negotiated a reduction or elimination of alimony at retirement.
As it turned out, the case turned on the fact that the man was forced to retire by an unforeseen physical disability, so the Court disregarded the ex-wife’s argument. However, the fact that she made the argument should serve as notice to all who make divorce agreements that they should consider language regarding retirement to protect their client at the time of retirement from an obligation they may not be able to meet. ( Peterson v. Peterson, No. 2012-CA-00228-COA (Decided Nov. 19. 2013)