There’s so much to think about for Florida residents getting divorced. Child custody. Who gets the antique dining table? Where will you live?
Then there’s alimony. Figuring out spousal support involves an accurate accounting of finances, assets and income, as well as a consideration of the potential earnings of the lower-income spouse.
It’s possible you might overlook some factors in the process, though.
Eager to get your alimony obligation over quickly and as cheaply as possible, you choose a lump-sum payment or to pay over the short term. But by paying smaller amounts over a long period of time, your ex might remarry, ending your alimony obligation, or have a huge uptick in income, allowing your alimony amount to be reconsidered. If you pay in a lump sum, you won’t get a refund of the money you already paid should circumstances change.
Add another expert to your team: a vocational rehabilitationist. Just what is that? It’s someone who will interview the lower-earning or nonearning spouse, to try to determine their earning potential to see how much support they can provide themselves.
Don’t hide your money from your spouse or spend it so that your spouse doesn’t get their hands on it. Remember that spousal support isn’t determined by your bank account, but rather your income.
Write down in your alimony agreement the grounds for terminating spousal support down the line. Language could be included that if your spouse moves in with a new partner or even takes a roommate, alimony can be lessened because of a change in the ex-spouse’s financial situation.
If you know you’re going to be paying alimony, you owe it to yourself to seek legal guidance on all the factors that go into spousal support. Of course, you want to be fair to your ex-spouse, but your attorney will help you make your alimony payments fair to you, too.