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How To Negotiate Alimony
Alimony, otherwise referred to as spousal support, may be awarded if the divorce causes one spouse to not be able to support themselves during the proceeding. For instance, if one spouse had the role of staying home to parent, then they were probably financially dependent on their spouse. The parent who stayed home may not have immediate access to funds so they can live on their own. The intention of alimony is to help a spouse continue to have the same standard of living while they were married so they do not suddenly experience dire financial hardship.
Most alimony payments are supposed to be rehabilitative and only cover the transitional period for the divorce and perhaps shortly thereafter. Negotiating these payments can allow the spouse in need to get the funds they require while not causing financial difficulty for the paying spouse. The court will review what the spouse in need must have to live comfortably, while not putting the other spouse into monetary turmoil either. The alimony amount must also be within the means of the paying spouse.
The best way to negotiate successfully over spousal support is to recruit help from a family law firm, similar to O’Cathain, LLC. By having a lawyer help, you are more likely to get a settlement that is favorable compared to dealing with it all by yourself. As the qualified Hackensack New Jersey alimony lawyers explain, a legal professional is someone who is familiar with family law and has handled situations very similar to yours in the past.
When entering alimony negotiations, some spouses are so upset about the divorce that they are extreme in their spousal support positions. For instance, the paying spouse may try to manipulate their finances so it seems like they have less to provide to the other spouse. And to the contrary, a spouse seeking alimony may exaggerate their needs. This puts both parties at odds and at such a discrepancy in expectations that they are not able to negotiate successfully. Being reasonable with the recipient’s monetary needs and the paying spouse’s ability to do so is the best way to reach a resolution.
During the negotiation, you may need to remind your spouse about the outcome of asset division. Being on the receiving end of a generous asset division agreement can reduce how much may be awarded in alimony. Another factor that can contribute to spousal support awards is which parent has custody of the children, since they are going to accrue more costs compared to the parent who is not involved in the same way. A parent that does not have custody but is already paying more towards child support may try to negotiate for a lesser amount in alimony payments.
Ultimately, alimony is established with the intention of not placing one spouse in a serious financial situation where they are unable to afford the costs of living. When negotiating payments, it helps to stay cordial, realistic, and recruit help from a lawyer so that hopefully both spouses reach an agreed upon amount.