Divorce can be an extremely traumatic and painful experience, and it’s certainly one that nobody wants to go through. However, some divorces can be much more painful and difficult than others; some divorce can begin and finish in a few months, while others can be arduous processes that drag on for years. The reasons are typically the same: Assets. Money. Custody battles. If you’re getting ready to file for divorce, or even just preparing for the possibility of ending your marriage, it’s time to start seriously considering what you’re looking for out of a settlement. Alimony is one of the biggest issues in a divorce settlement. Even if a divorce is mostly amicable, having to dole out monthly or yearly payments to an ex is not something anybody looks forward to after the divorce is finalized.
Florida legislates the equitable distribution of assets and property, but “equitable” and “equal” are two different things. Judges don’t usually split everything 50/50, but rather find a solution they deem fair for both parties. If you’re able to build a case proving a solution is fair for you and your ex, you won’t end up paying ridiculous amounts of alimony (or get shorted and not receive as much as you feel entitled to).
Tips To Get A Fair Alimony Settlement
- Collect evidence of your finances: You need to provide a full look at the expenses, income, and assets that you and your ex-spouse have spent or earned. Don’t wait for your ex to provide information on their assets, especially separate ones. Get evidence of what you AND your ex own and shared during your marriage. Separate assets and assets previous to your marriage will probably revert back to their owner, but the value of those assets could impact how shared assets are split. You may also want to get documentation from your ex’s employer regarding policies for overtime, bonuses, and paid vacation days. You may be entitled to more alimony (or to paying less) if any of these raise the value of what your ex is earning at their job.
- Establish and document a budget: Somebody who is going back to school to further their career will probably require more financial help than a single person supporting themselves and living alone. If your budget is high and can justify these costs, you’ll probably be entitled to higher alimony payments. Consult with a financial advisor or family attorney to determine the budget you require for the year, including one-time costs AND long-term planned costs.
- Include divorce fees: Divorce is a transitional and often expensive period. Think about moving, court appearances, paperwork, and legal fees. Are you able to afford all of these expenses? How much will it cost for you to resume regular life again? Don’t let your divorce leave you eating ramen and living at your parents’ house. Plan for these expenses and include all of these one-time fees in your settlement so that you get a settlement that can cover these expenses as you transition to your new life.
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Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can make all the difference when navigating these difficult times. Call Swickle & Associates to speak with a top Florida family law attorney today.