The answer shouldn’t be “As Much As I Can Get!” because there is only a limited pot to share. So, be fair about it.
Many couples going through a divorce after a mid-length or long-term marriage know that some level of Spousal Support or Alimony is needed, but they may have no idea how much or for how long. Some Attorneys will go by your budget numbers, which may or may not be accurate or perhaps not even have been reviewed in detail.
Also, Attorneys in fully litigated cases (vs those working in Collaborative Divorce matters), are paid to do their best for their clients so if you’re the payor, they will argue for the lowest number possible … and if you’re the recipient, they’ll argue for the highest number possible. There is a better way to approach this!
So if you don’t already know, I am a huge advocate of negotiated and out of Court settlements, whether you retain Attorneys or not to represent you. So, where’s the right number and how do you find it?
Here’s where a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) such as myself can be valuable in helping to clarify those numbers. I can do a full financial projection for both individuals 10, 15, and 20 years out into the future to include all expenses, income, assets, and liabilities. Basically, a full financial plan for each one reflecting whatever settlement agreement they are considering.
Once they have that sort of data readily available, it becomes really easy to find the sweet spot that is a win for both parties. I want them to move into the next phase of their lives with the confidence that they can live the financial futures that they envision.
When I can show that the payor’s net worth and cash flow are positive and increasing and he/she can still reach their financial goals if they pay a certain level of spousal support, they’re far more likely to reach an agreement. Don’t spin your wheels trying to convince each other without some realistic numbers to use!
Give my office a call at (850) 252-6325 or use this link to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session. I look forward to speaking with one or both of you since I can work either as an Advocate or as a Neutral.