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Handle Spousal Support NegotiationSpousal support negotiation or alimony is a concept derived from the circumstance of our historical roots. Old English law required that a husband support his ex-wife because in those times, women could not own property or work for a living. Without spousal support, the women would be reliant on government support for life. Obviously, much has changed since then and women are much more self-sufficient these days. Even so, there are cases where spousal support negotiation is necessary. Knowing how to handle it is a definite plus in the emotional landscape of divorce.

Avoiding Spousal Support Negotiation

You can avoid spousal support negotiation altogether if you and your spouse can come to an agreement. In most cases, the court will approve your agreement. Sometimes it may not even be necessary to go to court. Things like spousal support negotiation, child support, custody, and more can be agreed upon and then the parties can qualify for an uncontested divorce. Most of the time, divorce is a bit more complicated than that, unfortunately.

Spousal support exists for those who truly have need of it, not just as a way to get back at your spouse. Most likely, you are considering divorce because you cannot agree. That can stir up a lot of naturally vengeful feelings. You must understand that these feelings cannot drive your divorce process. These are the factors the judge will take into consideration regarding your spousal support negotiation. If you are in a contested divorce, your attorney and/or mediator will help you navigate spousal support negotiation.

Two Factors of Spousal Support Negotiation

There are two factors up for consideration during negotiation for alimony:

  1. Your spouse’s resources
  2. Your needs

One big thing you need to understand about divorce is that your business will be put on blast. For example, if you make $1500 a month on a side job through the Internet, those finances are in play during spousal support negotiations. There is no secret playbook. Separate assets are in play. In fact, these are the things you’ll need to know about your spouses finances:

  • Income and expenses
  • Bonuses, overtime, and benefits
  • Assets

In turn, you will be required to prepare a detailed image of your finances as well. In order to receive spousal support, you must present sufficient need. You should take a deep look at your income and expenses to determine how much you will need to live on. There is no standard formula. Determine what you think you will need, and ask for that amount.

Other Things to Consider

As with most aspects of divorce, there is nothing simple about spousal support negotiation. If you took time out of your career for children, are disabled, or are unemployed for some other reason, alimony might be your only lifeline. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn all you can about how spousal support works. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Future relationships – In most cases, spousal support will cease when you co-habitate with or marry someone else. If you are already in a relationship that may result in co-habitation in the near future, it’s probably best to forget alimony.
  • Taxes – Spousal support is taxable income. You will be required to pay taxes on every penny your spouse pays you. It is probably in your best interest to consult with a certified public accountant to make sure any such affairs are in order.
  • Securing alimony – This may not have occurred to you, but your spouse cannot pay alimony in the event they pass away. Even if your spouse is a person of notable means, that doesn’t mean they will make an concession for you in their will. You must do this for yourself by making sure the spousal support negotiation includes a requirement that they maintain a life insurance policy that names you as the beneficiary.

Wrap Up

Divorce is a low point for sure, but that doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it with nothing. Spousal support negotiation is an important part of the divorce process. Don’t be afraid to pursue it if you truly need it.


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