If you and your spouse have decided to call it a day, going through a divorce can be incredibly taxing for both parties involved. Coming second to child custody, alimony is known as one of the most difficult and contentious processes to navigate in any divorce.
If your split is acrimonious, the last thing either of you want to discuss is the idea of giving each other money; however, the topic does need to be discussed and dealt with correctly. To make the process as stress free as possible, here are 5 tips on how to negotiate an alimony settlement.
Know Your Finances
When entering into an alimony negotiation, one of the most crucial things you need to do is understand your finances. Working out how much it costs for you to live and understanding what you can get by on and the things you cannot live without is important. Knowing your range will enable you to negotiate from a better viewpoint regarding what you may accept or be prepared to give up.
Make a Budget
Once you’ve worked out your finances, you need to create a budget, especially as you will be paying attorney and retainer fees. Most attorneys aren’t sympathetic and very rarely work for free, so as you begin the divorce process, make sure that you establish a budget. The whole experience can be an expensive process, and with very few people budgeting for a divorce, the last thing you want is to be left with hefty fees at the end.
Study the Law
Taking the time to learn and understand the A-Z of the laws in your state and how they impact alimony payments is crucial. There are various types of alimony out there, so it’s your job to research, which can help build your case. If you expect lifetime alimony and find that it is half the length of your marriage, you could end up with a nasty surprise and find it difficult to negotiate. It’s important that you go into the agreement with your eyes open which can give you the upper hand.
Plan for Contingencies
If you are dependent on your spouse to financially support you after the divorce process, you need to ensure that you plan for contingencies. Anything can happen when you least expect it, so having an emergency fund in place is crucial should you not receive financial support straight away. It’s very important that you protect yourself against any unpleasant surprises that may arise.
Keep Emotions at Bay
If your divorce is anything but amicable, many people go down the route of taking their spouse for ‘everything they’ve got’. Understandably, emotions can run high and stress levels can increase which can make the situation harder. It’s important that you keep your emotions at bay and practice relaxation techniques which can clear your mind and help you throughout the process of negotiating an alimony settlement.
Alimony is one of the last pieces that falls into place when going through a divorce. To avoid conflict and drama, all the tips listed above can help you and your spouse come to a suitable alimony settlement.