Negotiating alimony during a divorce settlement

| Jul 24, 2018 | family law, Firm News

There are two main sources of contention that may affect anyone getting a divorce in Kentucky. While child custody is often the biggest battle, this is followed by spousal support. Alimony-related matters can quickly become complex since this is usually one of the final issues worked out among divorcing couples. While each situation where alimony is involved might have some unique circumstances to consider, there are certain steps that could make the process less contentions during negotiation efforts.

Having unrealistic expectations is a common reason for objections to spousal support requests. One way to minimize this issue is for the recipient of alimony to know their financial situation well enough to determine what they need and what they can live without. Additionally, it can be helpful for the receiving spouse to know their earning potential. As for how long alimony lasts, the general rule of thumb is about 50 percent the length of the marriage; although, spousal maintenance may continue until retirement in some situations.

For the ex-spouse who will be making payments, it can be helpful to budget for a divorce by factoring possible alimony payments into the equation. For the recipient, having a contingency plan in place may make it easier to deal with unexpected lapses in payments, which could continue for months until legal action is taken. It’s also advisable for a divorcing spouse to avoid waiving spousal support altogether. Even if financial support isn’t needed, accepting an amount as small as a dollar a year can leave the door up to request something more significant if circumstances change later.

A divorce lawyer often advises clients to keep emotions out of negotiations. An attorney may also urge a client not to make short-term agreements with an ex-partner outside of court. Doing so could contribute to future problems with spousal support payments. Typically, an attorney can provide additional assistance with post-divorce modifications regarding alimony and situations when both alimony and child support are being requested.