Tips on Negotiating an Alimony Award
Financial security is one of the biggest fears of any individual stepping into the realm of divorce. Similarly, how to obtain or maintain financial security is also one of the biggest disputes between couples divorcing. Alimony is a common manner in which a spouse can gather some financial stability after a divorce, even if for a short period of time. Alimony can provide a great deal of support and place an individual at ease and therefore, can be one of the most important topics to you in your divorce proceedings. Your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney has compiled some tips on negotiating such a critical piece of many divorces.
Before entering a negotiation regarding an alimony award, you need to assess your personal financial resources as well as your spouse’s. The first step in determining an alimony award is the acknowledgement of a spouse having a need for financial support and the respective spouse’s ability to pay such support. Therefore, if you do not present an actual need there will be no argument for alimony. To present such an argument, you will need to provide the discrepancy in your income and your necessary expenditures. Although a great deal of this information can be found in your Financial Affidavit filed with the court, it may be necessary to dig deeper into your future expenses as your life comes to a significant change as a single individual or single parent. For instance, if you are selling the marital home and moving to a new home or apartment; you will need to consider the new payments that will be made on the new home and compare them to your current payments. Further, if you have been out of the work force for a significant time, you may need to take time to gain education and skills to become employable. Therefore, you may need to research the time to obtain such a degree in relation to the support you will require. If you are losing your health insurance, you may also need to take note of the significant change in costs of health insurance premiums that need to be accounted for in your alimony award. All of these items can be used to present the apparent need of financial support.
After assessing your resources, as well as your spouse’s, and the financial support desired from your spouse, you will be prepared to negotiate. You can present factual evidence of each of your needs, including health insurance payments, new mortgage payments, and time to obtain gainful employment. If your spouse is hesitant after your initial revelations, you may then consider if you are willing to exchange certain items in dispute to make a deal with your spouse more desirable. For instance, if your spouse greatly desires to retain a boat that was bought during the marriage and is therefore, susceptible to distribution, you may offer to provide your spouse with this item in exchange for an alimony award. If your negation comes to these terms, it will be important to come with a list of items that you are willing to negotiate with, and list them in an order from most important to least important. Negotiation surrounds being open and willing to give and take. However, being properly prepared with your resources, needs, and items you are willing to negotiate with will substantially aid you in your case.
Alimony can be a crucial piece to your future and providing you with financial security moving into this new and unknown time of your life. Therefore, being able to negotiate an alimony award and not leaving it to the court’s discretion provides you with an advantage heading into your future. Consult with your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney regarding your exact needs and how they can translate into an appropriate alimony award.
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