How To Avoid Paying Permanent Alimony
When a process server hands you a divorce petition from your spouse, it feels like you are experiencing the worst thing that could happen. You are certain to suffer financial losses, and the future of your relationship with your children is now uncertain. As much as your spouse drove you crazy when you were married, now your spouse can use the court system to try to ruin your life, financially and otherwise. Do not assume that your life is ruined and you have nothing left to lose. The actions you and your divorce lawyer take in the coming months can affect your financial future and your future relationship with your children. It is always painful when a long marriage breaks up, and the longer the marriage, the more complicated it is to disentangle the couple’s finances. Unless you and your spouse have roughly equal incomes, there is a good chance that the court will order you to pay alimony. The courts rarely order permanent alimony, but it is a possibility in divorce cases where the couple was married a long time and the family survived on one income. A Boca Raton alimony lawyer can help you avoid paying permanent alimony after a long marriage.
The 16-Year Itch
Permanent alimony is only an option in cases where the marriage lasted 17 years or more. If you are unhappily married, and you think your spouse will request permanent alimony, you should make the first move and file for divorce before your marriage hits the 17-year mark.
Sign a Postnuptial Agreement
You wish you had signed a prenuptial agreement, but hindsight is 20/20. The good news is that, if you are already married, you can sign a postnuptial agreement. In the agreement, you can agree on certain matters of division or property, including limiting the amount or duration of alimony, or even waiving the right to alimony altogether.
Unequal Division of Marital Property
If you have a much higher income than your spouse, you might be able to reduce your spouse’s financial dependence on you by letting your spouse keep more than half of the marital property. For example, if the marital home is paid off, and you agree that your spouse can keep the house after the divorce, you might not have to pay alimony.
Persuade the Court That Your Ex-Spouse Can and Should Work
If your spouse is young enough and healthy enough to work, the court will probably calculate the alimony amount based on the assumption that your spouse will return to the workforce before or shortly after the divorce becomes final. In some divorce cases, the parties disagree about whether the financially dependent spouse is able to work and about how much he or she can expect to earn. If your spouse insists that she cannot return to work, your lawyer can summon experts to testify about your spouse’s earning potential.
Contact Schwartz | White About Getting Out of Paying Permanent Alimony
A South Florida family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce in a way that requires you to pay as little alimony as possible. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.