Divorce and Alimony
Divorce and alimony are topics I discuss with clients every day. It is really very straight forward and is all about the numbers... Attorneys tell me the main issues are how much does one spouse need and what is the other able to pay. So, it is essential that both spouses have a solid understanding of their monthly expenses.
Because most of us do not track our spending on a daily basis, creating a monthly list of expenses is challenging, even on a good day when we have had 8 hours of sleep, the sun is shinning and we don't have a care int he world... When we are experiencig our own divorce and our emotions have the better of us, it is unlikely our congitive processing is working properly.
A complete montlh expense worksheet should have 180 items including housing, transportation, children, personal and medical expenses. If your worksheet does not have this many items, you will likley underestimate your expenses. Then, you may ask for too little alimony or believe you can afford to pay more alimony than is realistic.
Rather than having attorneys argue back and forth or attending an 8 hour mediation (at $1,000 per hour between both attorneys and the mediator), I encourage those divorcing to spend some time confirming their monthly expenses are thoroughly understood by both parties. If you educate and empower yourself, you will feel more confident and your requests will be realistic.
Understanding realistic alimony is not rocket science or even complicated. It is about understanding the numbers so you can secure the future for yourself and your children.