Negotiating Alimony With Your Spouse

Negotiating Alimony With Your Spouse

If you and your spouse are not able to agree on the terms of alimony amidst a divorce, then you will have to dispute it in front of a judge, who will ultimately make the final decision. If you can successfully negotiate outside of the courtroom, it can save you time, money, and stress during an already emotionally-turbulent time. Before beginning your negotiations with your spouse, consider the following two factors:

#1 Be realistic about your spouse’s financial resources.

Regardless of whether you are the one in need or paying for support, you must use factual information during negotiations. If you don’t, then it can be difficult to know whether the support you are receiving or agreeing to pay for is adequate and fair. In almost every state there is a requirement for both spouses to disclose their financial details during a divorce. If you have the following information accessible, you can be more realistic about the potential outcomes for alimony:

  1. Separate assets of both spouses
  2. An income and expenses list
  3. Each spouse’s overtime, benefits, and bonuses
  4. Needs of children and custody arrangement

#2 Be realistic about evaluating your own needs.

Since you will be required to generate a monthly expense and income disclosure list, use this to decide how much support you actually need or can pay for. In highly contentious divorces, it can be easy to use anger and revenge in pursuit of a desired alimony amount. However, the negotiation is not as likely to be successful if your stated needs vastly outnumber what your spouse can provide, and vice versa. If you are the person paying for support, be forthcoming about your finances despite the fear that you will be giving your spouse more than you’d like. Your lawyer can assess your situation and offer advice when negotiating the terms of alimony. 

As an alimony lawyer from Farkas & Crowley, P.A. discusses with clients all the time, negotiating alimony can be one the more challenging topics to dispute during divorce, but with help from a lawyer, you have someone to watch out for your best interests.