At one point or another during the divorce process, the couple is likely to have to negotiate over the terms of alimony. It is recommended that an attorney is hired during this time to help prepare you for what’s to come. The couple has two choices. For one, they can settle the alimony terms themselves over mediation or they can attend court and have a judge determine the outcome. In most cases, the couple probably prefers trying to amend the matter themselves, as a way to avoid the stress and save on additional legal fees. Here, we have provided seven tips for negotiating with your soon-to-be former spouse during a divorce:
#1 Understand Your Financial Situation
Before you can begin talking about your financial needs or what you can offer, it is essential to understand exactly what your monetary status looks like. You may have a general idea of how much you make, but other factors to consider are how much you pay monthly in bills, utilities, rent, groceries, medical care, and other necessities of living. There are several factors that go into how much a person may receive or have to pay in alimony, so it may be best to sit down with your alimony lawyer in Memphis, TN and examine the numbers.
#2 Familiarize Yourself with Laws
Your attorney can talk with you about what laws apply to your state, and how this may impact what you get in alimony or have to pay to your spouse. Take time to review the laws so you feel more confident creating an arrangement yourselves. There are multiple types of alimony and knowing the laws surrounding divorce can help you become aware of realistic expectations.
#3 Start a Budget for Divorce
If you anticipate you are headed towards divorce, it doesn’t hurt to start saving money specifically for legal purposes. Divorce can be an expensive process, so getting into it without having a financial plan can lead to hardships later on. By preparing ahead of time, it ensures that you aren’t taken by surprise or struggle to pay for the related costs.
#4 Consider All the Variables
If you were to attend court over the alimony dispute, the judge is likely to factor in numerous variables. So, this means you should too if you are trying to resolve alimony amongst yourselves. Factors to consider when calculating how much you may receive or have to pay in alimony can include:
- The impact of divorce on shared children
- Which parent will have custody of children (and perhaps more financial responsibility to care for them)
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living during marriage (a judge would strive to create an arrangement where both spouses can maintain the same level of living as when married)
- Total earnings per year, along with bonuses and other means of income
- Monthly expenses related to necessities of living (groceries, healthcare premiums, medications, rent, clothing, etc.)
- Whether there were instances of abuse, neglect, addiction while married
Thanks to Patterson Bray, for their insight into family law and negotiating alimony during divorce.