Payment of alimony will often be made by way of wage garnishment of earned income and paid through the Probation department in the county in which the payor resides. This means that payment of alimony is not voluntary, cannot be held back by the payor and is automatically withheld from his/her paycheck.
But what happens if the payor is no longer working and has retired? This happens fairly frequently with some lines of work, such as police officers, who are often eligible to retire at a fairly young age.
The answer is that it is not only working income that is a source of funds for payment of alimony. In general, many sources of unearned income, including pension payments, can be deemed a source of funds from which alimony payments can be garnished.
That pension can be tapped as a source of alimony payments should not be lost on a payor of support who is considering retirement. There is often no guarantee that support will be terminated or even modified downwards when the payor retires. Therefore, the decision on whether or not to retire at a given point of time must take into account the possibility that even if income is reduced, support obligations may not be reduced.