A Massachusetts divorce is one of the most emotionally taxing events a person can experience, a fact that undoubtedly leads to numerous poor decisions when filing the ensuing paperwork. One of the most common areas where errors are made is during the process of alimony negotiation.
The process to determine the amount of alimony requires a lot of consideration of finances, income, assets, and potential earnings of the non-breadwinner party in the marriage. Combined with the emotional high-wire act of the divorce process and the pain that so often lingers from the dissolution of a marriage mistakes are bound to happen.
To help you avoid them, these are the common mistakes to avoid when negotiating alimony payments and what to keep in mind in order to not lose your cool.
Opting For Lump Sum or Short-Term, High-Cost Payments
Sometimes, you have to think about paying for a longer period of time but paying less, according to divorce experts. People want to buy out their alimony. It’s like a bargain shopper, who gets a ton of stuff because it’s on sale. There’s also the fact that with long-term, low-cost payments, people can terminate alimony payment if their ex-wife begins to cohabitate or marries someone else. If they pay a lump sum, although they may wipe their hands of it, they will never get that money back.
Not Seeking the Help of Outside Experts
Dads, and even their attorneys, overlook the need for at least two experts in every case that deals with significant alimony payments. Those types of experts, are a vocational rehabilitationist, and an accountant. They’re an integral piece of not only minimizing the impact but perhaps even trying to prevent the award of alimony.
A vocational rehabilitationist will interview the other party in the divorce – the one who hasn’t been working and tries to, with the knowledge of her skills, education, and work history, determine what their salary could be if they rejoined the workforce.
A CPA or accountant, will look over everything. This is particularly important in the face of the upcoming tax bill changes that will get rid of the deductions for alimony payments. An accountant can actually look at someone’s bank accounts and determine what a family’s lifestyle actually is and how much money will be needed to maintain that lifestyle.
Hiding (or Spending) Money to Reduce Payments
Don’t just go spend all your money, thinking that you’ll pay less in alimony, says divorce attorneys. This is a regular tactic used by scorned spouses not realizing that the amount of alimony is determined mostly on your income, not assets.
Not Taking Care of Yourself
Getting help from a therapist, with respect to the emotional aspects of divorce, is crucial. Alimony can make people very angry. When you’re calm, you can make informed decisions much more easily than not. It’s an important component of the overall divorce process.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.