Getting divorced can be stressful and complicated. This is even more true in situations where alimony negotiations are involved.
Divorcing spouses need to know the following six things about alimony in a divorce before they get started with negotiations:
The spouse who earns less will be granted alimony if there is an alimony negotiation in the divorce.
Alimony is designed to allow both spouses in a divorce to maintain the same lifestyle they had while married despite differences in income level. This means that the spouse who earns more money will have to make alimony payments to the spouse who earns less.
While the paying spouse can deduct alimony payments, the spouse receiving alimony must pay taxes on it.
Alimony payments will have tax consequences for both spouses. The spouse who is required to pay alimony will at least benefit from having a tax write-off. This means that alimony payments can decrease the tax liability of the paying spouse.
On the other hand, the spouse receiving alimony will have to pay more in taxes because he or she will have to report alimony as taxable income.
Alimony is not required and the spouse who earns less can waive it.
In some cases- particularly where both spouses earn similar amounts- a spouse may decide to waive alimony payments. This can help to simplify divorce proceedings, but it is entirely up to the lower earning spouse.
Alimony might not be granted in the case of a very short marriage.
In the case of short marriages, courts may be disinclined to require alimony from the spouse who earns more. As a general rule, a marriage should last about seven years in order for alimony payments to be required between divorcing spouses.
Divorcing spouses need to analyze their finances before negotiating alimony.
Going into alimony negotiations, it's important that both spouses study their finances and figure out exactly how much money they're bringing in. They also need to figure out what their monthly expenses are so that they know how much they need to live. This will help them to provide pertinent information to their lawyers during negotiations.
Keeping records once alimony payments start is important.
Spouses with alimony transactions going on between them- especially the paying spouse- should keep careful records of all alimony payments. Not only is this important for tax purposes, but also to avoid any contention down the road about whether or not the full amount has been paid.
Hello. My name is Stephanie Laurel. I have recently been through a divorce, and although I don’t wish it on anyone, I do wish that everyone could come out of the proceedings feeling they have been taken care of. My husband and I had been married twenty-eight years. We have four children, two of which are still under eighteen years of age. We owned the home we lived in and had a vacation home in a different state. We are civilized people, we get along fairly well considering, but no matter how much we thought we could go through the divorce process without lawyers, it wasn't possible. We each hired a divorce attorney to represent us. Most of the negotiations went well, but when we hit a rough spot the attorneys took over. Thank goodness. I’m going to share more about the experience and hope it helps you.