The topic of alimony can be a contentious and difficult thing to negotiate over, especially if both spouses are vastly at-odds against each other amidst a divorce. Splitting up can be challenging enough. If you add the heated topic of alimony to the equation, it can make the divorce process just that more agonizing to endure. Alimony can be one of the most complex topics to discuss, since there are so many factors that can play into the decision and spouses tend to be protective over their finances during divorce. Both spouses can try to reach a middle ground among themselves with help from a lawyer or mediator. But if they are unable to agree upon the terms of alimony, a court judge may have to decide for them.
Here are tips for how to successfully negotiate such a tense-filled discussion regarding alimony with your spouse as the divorce proceedings continue:
Know What Your Finances Look Like
Before going into a negotiation with your spouse over alimony, know what your current financial status looks like. Regardless of whether you may be the “paying” or “receiving” spouse, it is important to know how the separation is going to impact your finances. It can help to have documentation that shows your earnings, monthly bills, utilities, rent, health care premiums, debts, and other financial paperwork so you can present these numbers to your spouse. If you know what your financial situation looks like, you can have a better idea of what you need or how much you can offer in support.
Your spouse also must be willing to negotiate by sharing relevant financial details if you want to avoid attending court over the dispute. And if your alimony conflict does end up in court, you’ll likely have to share such information anyways. It can save you time and stress if you can avoid arguing your side in front of a judge.
Get Educated on State Laws
Talk with a reliable alimony lawyer in Memphis, TN who is familiar with family law legalities for information about the different types of alimony and what is a reasonable arrangement based on your state guidelines. If you don’t seek legal guidance about what a fair alimony agreement looks like, you may find that you have given too much or accept too little when establishing the terms with your spouse.
Keep Realistic Expectations
If both spouses are vehemently against each other and out to seek revenge, then neither is likely to accept what the other has suggested for the alimony arrangement. It is imperative that both spouses keep their emotions reeled in as much as possible, and keep realistic expectations. It is highly unlikely that either spouse is going to be completely happy with the alimony arrangement, so meeting in the middle is still the preferred option as this guarantees you have a say. If you go to court instead, there isn’t a surety that your preferences will be considered by the court judge.
Thanks to Patterson Bray, for their insight into family law and negotiating alimony.