When it comes to alimony settlements, you only appear in front of a judge if you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement. You should give negotiation a try as it’s a lot less expensive than going to divorce court, and you won’t be leaving important decisions about your life to the judge. You can work with your divorce lawyer to help you understand the factors that the judge would consider before you start negotiating with your spouse about alimony. Today, Anton Garcia Law shares general ways to negotiate a fair alimony settlement with your spouse.
Start With Your Needs
To negotiate a fair alimony settlement, focus on your needs first. Look at the difference between your expenses and your income this will guide how much alimony support to ask for. You’ll be required to prepare a monthly income and expense disclosure so it’s a great place to start.
If you’re the person getting support, once you’ve settled on an alimony settlement, you may want to include a provision for increasing the amount each year as a cost of living adjustment (COLA). These adjustments may be based on the national or a Florida COLA index, or you can assume the annual increase based on a percentage.
Keep in mind, there’s no standard formula, all you can do is decide what you think you need and ask for it at the beginning of the alimony negotiations process. If you need help, contact our experienced Tampa divorce attorneys.
Understand Your Spouse’s Resources
All assets and income need to be considered for both parties and all information should be disclosed in the forms that you’re both required to fill out. If financial information is missing then your lawyer can use discovery methods to get the additional information that’s needed.
To help negotiate a fair alimony settlement, you’ll need to know about:
- Your spouse’s separate assets (you’re entitled to know their value).
- Detailed income and expense report that shows you where your spouse’s money is going and what separate liquid assets are available for daily expenses.
- Bonuses, overtime, and employment benefits & stocks. Income comes from these places too! If your spouse regularly receives a bonus or overtime pay, you can use the average to help determine your alimony. Stock options and the value of benefits like unused vacation time should also be factored in your alimony settlement.
Be Flexible & Look for a Win-Win
Don’t draw a line in the sand when it comes to negotiations. Look for the win-win solution, whether there’s an equitable distribution or not. If you come to the alimony settlement table and are unwilling to negotiate, you can quickly create a stalemate. This only leads to increased tensions and a (costly) drawn-out divorce case.
Take Control Of Your Own Emotions
Throughout the divorce process, you have to keep your emotions in check. Alimony negotiations are hard enough as it is, so you don’t want the other party to take advantage of your emotional state. Losing control of your emotions may also lead to the breakdown in alimony settlement negotiations altogether.
Contact A Tampa Divorce Lawyer
Negotiating alimony may be difficult and you should hire an attorney who understands the process and will work to get the amount you deserve. When you hire the Florida divorce attorneys at Anton Garcia Law, we can help you collect the documentation needed to receive a fair amount of alimony. We don’t recommend that you try to settle alimony payments yourself, or risk being disappointed with the outcome. If you need help negotiating a fair alimony settlement with your spouse, contact the Tampa divorce lawyers at Anton Garcia Law by calling us 24/7 at or scheduling a free consultation online.