Divorce is never an easy thing to deal with, especially if you’re dealing with multiple assets, liabilities, and debts. By adding alimony (or spousal support), you will have more than enough on your hands. Alimony is money that one spouse pays to the other to ensure the recipient’s total financial well-being. A single parent with custody of their children may be more in need of alimony, over a spouse who has separate property because a single parent has far less income coming in.
Alimony is a support payment that one spouse provides to the other after a divorce or after one spouse dies. Alimony is intended to offset one spouse’s loss of income or standard of living after the other spouse leaves home. While alimony is often the favored payment, it isn’t always. When spouses can’t agree, a judge will decide for them.
Here are the tips that could help you in negotiating alimony with your spouse.
Give each other time.
Many divorcing couples reach a point of contention over the need to “give each other time,” also known as post-divorce alimony. Alimony is a court-ordered payment awarded to a spouse who isn’t self-sufficient and needs financial assistance until they can support themselves. It is also often awarded to a spouse after a divorce to help rebuild their finances.
If you are facing the possibility of divorce and a need for alimony, stay as calm as possible. The lawyer and the judge will notice if you are unproductive, angry, and irritated, and it will hurt you in the long run. The fact is, negotiations over alimony are very stressful and nerve-wracking, so staying calm is necessary for your success.
Do not put much pressure.
Many couples divorce because one person is dissatisfied with the relationship. Instead of working out the issues, they just break up. Adding unnecessary pressure to the situation, can add additional stress and cause either side to make wrong or forced decisions. So, everyone needs to take time with their decisions and ensure the process is dealt with correctly.
Speak about your feelings.
Negotiating alimony with your spouse can be a daunting task but don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, according to a survey by Divorce Care, 81% of divorced people report feeling like they handled their divorce alone, and that they don’t know how to deal with their exes. Don’t give in to these feelings. Speak to someone about what’s going on. You could talk to a friend, your pastor, or your counselor, but there are also several free support groups available that can guide you through the process, including the Divorce Care program. Speaking about your feelings is one of the negotiating alimonies with your spouse.
Focus on resolving differences, not creating them.
When most people think about divorce, the first thing that comes to mind is couples fighting over who gets to keep what. However, while getting divorced is emotionally challenging, it can also be financially taxing, as couples often disagree about the division of their assets and debts. During the divorce process, all assets, debts, and income must be fully disclosed so that the parties can negotiate a fair and equitable division of property. Property can be divided in a variety of ways, and the court will place the most weight on the financial impact, or “asset value,” of the division.
Be open to compromise.
When you are negotiating the terms of your divorce, remember that there is a middle ground to be found. Some aspects of negotiated divorce settlements require compromise, and with good reason: divorces are emotional, expensive, and stressful—and no one wants to end up in a situation that is worse than when they started. If you are having trouble reaching an agreement on child custody, alimony, or child support, remember that you and your spouse are not enemies.
Get an experienced alimony attorney on board.
The divorce process can be overwhelming, especially if your divorce is messy and contentious. One way to ease the stress and pressure of the process is to make sure you work with an experienced alimony attorney. An alimony attorney specializing in negotiating alimony (and other family law issues) can play an important role in getting you the results you desire. Whether you seek to reduce alimony payments, combat jurisdictional issues, or set aside a court’s determination of alimony, you need professional representation to ensure your case remains focused on your best interests.
Divorce is extremely stressful, as is figuring out how to pay alimony. Both you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse want to be treated fairly in divorce, which means you want to know you’ve both received a fair share and the agreement is somewhat equal.