Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can endure. When alimony payments are added to the mix, they can make things even more complicated. If you were the breadwinner in your marriage, the judge may order you to pay alimony to your former spouse. It can be confusing to work out and many mistakes can be made during the process.
Here are some of the most common mistakes made during alimony negotiations:
Spending Money to Reduce Payments
If you have ill feelings toward your ex-spouse and upset that you have to pay so much in alimony, you may be tempted to start spending more of your money. Don’t do this. Many people wrongly assume that if they spend all of their money and become broke, the court will feel sorry for them and won’t make them pay alimony anymore. It just doesn’t work like this. The court will still order you pay the alimony amount that was set in the original agreement.
Choosing Lump Sum or Short-Term Payments
During alimony negotiations, you have the option between making long-term low-cost, payments and high-cost short-term payments. Many people want to get the process over as quickly as possible and opt for short-term payments. Unfortunately, if you choose this option, you will have to pay a lot more money. It’s better in the long run to select long-term payments. Additionally, if your ex-spouse starts making more money or marries someone else, you may be able to terminate the alimony payments. If you had chosen the lump sum method, you would never get that money back.
Failing to Be Specific About Grounds for Terminating Alimony
Unlike popular belief, alimony doesn’t last forever. Certain circumstances can cause for it to be cut off. However, in your alimony agreement paperwork, you must be specific about the groundwork for terminating payments. For example, you’ll want to state that if your ex cohabitates with someone else, it grounds for modifying or terminating alimony altogether.
Not Hiring a Lawyer
It’s a mistake to think that you can handle alimony negotiations on your own. If you don’t have a legal background, there may be some terminology in the paperwork that you don’t understand. An experienced family lawyer can guide you through the process and look out for your best interests. He or she can make sure that you aren’t being taken advantage of and answer all of your questions along the way. If you’re about to negotiate alimony payments, speak to a family lawyer soon.