Alimony – Income derived from an IRA

Income that can be derived from an IRA can be utilized to determine ability to pay. “The wife challenges the trial court’s inclusion of IRA income in its determination of her ability to support herself. She contends that the court erred as a matter of law in concluding that income from her IRAs and annuities could be imputed to her. We hold, however, that income from an IRA through a Regulation 72(t) withdrawal plan can be imputed to a spouse for purposes of determining an alimony obliga tion where the court can reasonably conclude that the principal of the IRA will not be invaded for the purpose of support…Taking these provisions together, a court must consider the financial resources distributed to the parties through the dissolution and all sources of income available, which includes payments available from annuities and retirement benefits. In this case that includes the income available from the IRAs and annuities… ‘A court should impute income that could reasonably be projected on a former spouse’s liquid assets.’… We would further note that our decision can work both ways. In a proper case, the court could consider income available to the paying spouse when determining an ability to pay alimony. In a case where a spouse may be claiming a reduction in earned income but with substantial IRA or other retirement plans, a court could impute income to a paying spouse pursuant to a 72(t) plan in order to assure that a spouse’s alimony needs are met.” Niederman v. Niederman