Surviving Divorce: 5 Tips For Determining Your Alimony Settlement

When you first got married, you probably thought that you would be with your spouse forever. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Divorce itself is tough on your emotions, but it's also rough on your wallet. A household that once had two incomes will be forced to depend on one, unless you qualify for alimony.

If you do qualify for alimony, you need to start by determining your settlement amount. Use these five tips to help get the funds you want and need:

1. Determine What You Want

Before you begin any negotiations, you should start by determining what you want out of alimony payments. Do you want to be a stay-at-home parent? Do you want to sell the house and receive cash? Or do you want support with specific costs? In order to calculate a figure, you need to know what it is that you really want. So think hard and be reasonable. Remember, your ex-spouse should be able to afford what you're asking for.

2. Create A List Of Expenses

If you are wanting support from your alimony, take some time to calculate your expenses. Look at previous months bills, such as electric and mortgage, and come up with an average. Be sure to include payments for other items, such as credit card payments or loans. Additionally, include one-time expenses, such as moving or family law attorney fees. Once you have all of this information, come up with an average and determine how realistic it is. If you determine that it isn't realistic, determine what you can cut from your list.

3. Start High

When negotiating, you should always start with a high number. This high number will give you some wiggle room, so that in the end you get what you want. So add a couple hundred or a couple thousand to your final figure for negotiations.

4. Remember The Kids

Another helpful tip for determining alimony payments is to remember the kids. Perhaps you'll need help buying school supplies, clothing, or paying for college. Keep these in mind when negotiating. If your spouse offers to pay for these items, take this into account and eliminate those child-related expenses from your bottom line. Your spouse shouldn't pay twice for these things, even if you are feeling angry or hurt.

5. Use An Attorney

Finally, make sure you are using a family law attorney to negotiate your alimony payments. Although it might seem like a simple process, it's often complicated. There are many factors that go into payments and these are just a few, so hire an attorney and listen to their advice. They will ensure that you and your family are taken care of, regardless of the situation.

Divorce is never fun, but it is an unfortunate part of life. If you are going through a divorce and want alimony, use these tips and an attorney like Thomas & Associates, PC to help determine how much you should ask for.