Hi, I am a teacher and I receive my pension in a couple of years when I am 60. I have always planned to retire at 60. My stbx's solicitor is arguing I can work beyond 60. There is enough equity and pensions for us both to retire at 60 (my stbx also has a defined benefit pension with NRA age 60). She is three years younger than me. Can anyone give me an indication of how a court would view this argument please?
There are two events that automatically end spousal maintenance They are
The death of the payer or the recipient ;
The re-marriage of the recipient.
Retirement of the payer is not, in itself, a ground for the total discharge of the order, but it almost invariably calls for a reduction in the amount payable.
I do not think the Courts will be too eager to get themselves in the kind of argument as to whether it is reasonable for you to retire or not. That would really be opening Pandora's box.
So you can certainly expect a reduction, I think, though, that a complete discharge may be optimistic. It is more likely to be a reduced figure, which may be purely nominal, but which could be
increased if your circumstances take a sharp turn for the better
The Courts don't like a total discharge because, quite simply , it is
If one party on a higher income paying SM is a little older and retires sooner thus stopping SM, there can be an income gap for the party who cannot take the pension yet. This needs to be considered and addressed even if there is an arrangement for equality of income in retirement. The way to address it may be for paid work of some sort to be continued for a period. There may also be a way to release cash from a pension.
NB if you propose to retire before the state retirement age, that would be seen as early retirement. A court will expect both parties to maximise their incomes (ie through working) unless there are specific reasons ie health why they would not be in a position to do so.
Hello Hadenoughnow, thank you for your reply. Spousal maintenance is not an issue. It is more a case of splitting the equity of the house and how my retirement age affects my mortgage capacity. There is a big disparity in incomes (I earn a lot more £50,000 v £20,000). As it stands my stbx will receive around £210,000 v £170,000 for me retiring at 60. There is one child (age 14) who will live with her, along with her 23 year old son who is working. She will have plenty of money to buy a house (we live in the midlands) and live mortgage free and there is plenty of pension to offset if she wants more equity (she wants a lot more than £210,000). I am wondering how a court would see her argument that I should work past 60 in order to give her equity which exceeds her needs.
Given the difference in incomes, I would expect her to be provided with funds to be mortgage free if possible in a two bed property. This would be seen as being in lieu of SM. On this basis there could be a Clean Break. NB 2 bed is the strict need for each of you.
I would also expect to see equality of pension income, at least from the pensions accrued during the marriage/cohabitation. A court may potentially take the whole pension pot into account especially if she has little or no pension of her own.
If that leaves you needing to keep working at least part time until normal retirement age, I suspect that is what the court would expect you to do.