How to Prepare Yourself for Alimony Negotiations
Alimony is one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce to deal with, and it has only been made more complicated of late, now that the tax deduction will disappear in 2019. While it is rarely easy for a couple to make decisions on how much money to give one another as they are splitting up, arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible by discussing the issue early on with an experienced divorce and alimony attorney is always the best approach.
At the outset, keep in mind that alimony is one of those issues that should be negotiated last, once everything else is already in place. Your alimony negotiations can then only benefit from having a good idea of what all the other elements are in the divorce first.
Cost of Living Range
One of the initial issues you and your attorney (and possibly a financial advisor as well) should discuss is what your cost of living is. This shouldn’t necessarily be just one, concrete number, but rather a range that covers what you cannot live without, what it costs to live comfortably, and what you would love to have (i.e. some built-in savings for a rainy day, within reasonable bounds). By coming up with a range instead of just one number, you can get a better feel for what you are accepting or giving up. This is especially important if you have been out of the workforce for some time and may not be aware of what your own earning capacity is.
Study the Law
Even if you have the very best divorce attorney in the world, you should also take the time to learn as much as you can about the ins and outs of the applicable laws in your state. For example, in Florida, the length of the marriage is a factor that goes into awarding alimony (also called “maintenance”), therefore, you don’t necessarily want to plan on providing or collecting alimony for the rest of your life.
Other than the length of the marriage, while guidelines do exist, alimony, in general, is very discretionary, and based on a number of factors, all of which are applied to bring about very different outcomes in each case. In other words, alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis, and knowing the law only strengthens your relevant negotiations.
Experienced Alimony Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale & Fort Lauderdale, Florida
You also need to budget for the cost of the divorce itself, and potentially figure this into alimony payments—yet another reason for negotiating these payments after everything else is in place.
The Florida alimony attorneys of Trachman & Ballot-Lena, PA have decades of experience helping clients in Broward County and surrounding areas figure out and obtain what they need in terms of alimony arrangements, and making the process affordable. Contact us today to find out more.