Not all divorce cases result in court-ordered spousal support, also known as alimony. If you believe alimony will come up during your divorce, there are a number of things to bear in mind.
Individuals who are divorcing or are divorced can request and receive spousal support payments. Alimony is paid by the spouse with higher means to supplement a spouse who needs support.
4 Types of Alimony
There are 4 different types of alimony that the Court can award:
- General term alimony payments depend partly on the length of the marriage. Support is paid regularly to a financially dependent ex-spouse.
- Rehabilitative alimony is provided for a predicted time to an ex-spouse who’s expected to be able to support themselves.
- Reimbursement alimony support can be paid to an ex-spouse who helped cover expenses enabling the paying spouse to complete an education or job training. Payments can be made regularly or one time, but only applied to marriages lasting no more than 5 years.
- Transitional alimony may be paid regularly or one time to help the spouse receiving the alimony to settle into a new lifestyle or location as a result of the divorce. This type of alimony only applies to marriages lasting no more than 5 years.
Whether contemplating or filing for divorce, both parties should be familiar with common pitfalls to avoid during alimony negotiations.
Mistake #1 Hiding Money
It’s a mistake to spend a lot of money prior to going to court in an attempt to pay less in alimony. Many people are under the false assumption that overspending will result in lower payments. The truth is, support payments are typically determined by income, not assets. Therefore ‘hiding’ money with a large purchase won’t work.
Mistake #2 Opting for Short-Term Payments
The idea of negotiating higher payments over a shorter amount of time sounds appealing to those wanting to buy out of their alimony as soon as possible. However, increased payments over a shorter time may be disadvantageous to the paying spouse. For instance, there may be a chance the receiving spouse may experience life changes, such as remarrying, that would negate any further payments.
Mistake #3 Neglecting Self-Care
Divorce is a stressful time, even for amicable couples. It’s easy to neglect mental and physical health when focusing on fiscal responsibilities. Don’t forget to seek support from friends, family members, or even a professional to ensure you are of sound mind during heightened times of stress. Taking the steps needed to provide self-care can better prepare you for making informed decisions regarding your future and long-term finances.
We’re here to help support you in your time of need. Having a skilled attorney by your side when negotiating your alimony agreement can help ensure you avoid many of the common mistakes. Speak with us to learn your options and to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement.