Negotiating Spousal Support
There are a lot of uncomfortable things to discuss when a couple is going through a divorce. If there are any children involved, they have to work out custody agreements and child support. They have to divide up their joint assets and decide who gets what. They also might have to figure out spousal support. With all of these things, reaching an agreement is in the best interest of both parties. Going to court can be harrowing, drawn out, and expensive. Mediation allows both parties the chance to negotiate something they both consider fair and manageable while being informed of the legal guidelines. The agreement comes as the couple compromises and reaches an amicable middle ground. If you are about to enter mediation and you want to know how to approach spousal support, here is some advice.
Evaluate Your Former Spouse’s Income
If you are going to ask for spousal support, you first need some information to be able to negotiate the terms. You will want to know how much your spouse makes at their job. If they have any separate assets, like a car that is only under their name, you deserve to know the value of that as well. Look into not only their income but any bonuses they may receive. Those things may not be regular, but they are important. There are also benefits to consider, like health insurance and other related information.
Consider Your Former Spouse’s Expenses
Before you ask for a number that sounds good to you, you need to think about how much your spouse needs to live on. If they have moved into their own house or apartment, there are plenty of expenses that go along with that. If you have children, they need money to support the children when they are with them as well. You can’t expect your former spouse to agree to spousal support if you offer a number that puts them below where they could even support themselves. Being reasonable about the ask will make it easier to come to an agreement.
Evaluate Your Needs
When you reach the mediation table, it is a good idea to know your own needs because it will likely come up. Create a monthly budget to show your expenses in detail. If you have an income, bring that along as well so you can show the difference between what you make and what you have to spend. Consider child support for the children, if that is an issue, and try to reach a compromise from there.
No Formulas For Spousal Support
There are many variables and broad legal guidelines for spousal support in a divorce situation. If you go before a judge, you may wind up with a support order far from what you had hoped for or expected. In order to get what you need, work with a mediator and your former spouse to reach an agreement that you can both live with. The professionals at South Bay Mediation can help you come up with figures that will aid both parties during the mediation process. Coming to a compromise in the middle will help everyone be okay with the decision once it’s complete.