The long awaited decision on alimony continuing post retirement, aka the Pierce case, came down yesterday. This has been a much discussed issue in the press, as well as by me, here and here, over the past few months.
I think the first reaction to this decision will be negative from the proponents of a formulaic alimony law, as well as those who are alimony payors; however, they should not despair. When you read the entire decision you will see that this is a very well thought out, nuanced result. Admittedly, you have to read the entire decision in order to realize it is not as draconian as it will undoubtedly be reported.
The decision states that the Court CAN consider retirement as a factor, but that they must balance the legitimate desire of a payor to retire (and they do describe it as legitimate) with the then-financial needs of both parties. Additionally, the Court must determine whether or not the separation agreement referenced retirement as a possibility at all.
There may well be a slightly more difficult challenge for the many folks with separation agreements not referencing retirement; however, Ido view this case as more helpful than not.