Alimony – How Much is Enough?
As a couple going through divorce, you know that some level of Spousal Maintenance or Alimony is needed. But how do you know how much? Most professionals will go by your budget numbers, which in my experience are almost never accurate. Additionally, your attorney is paid to do their best for you, so if you’re the payor, they will argue for the lowest number possible and if you’re the recipient, they’ll argue for the highest number possible. But there is a more equitable way to decide.
If you haven’t realized yet, I am a huge proponent of negotiated settlements whether you use attorneys or not. So where’s the right number and how do you find it? Here’s where a CDFA® comes to the rescue. We do a full financial projection for each party for 20 years into the future. The projections include all expenses, income, assets and liabilities. Basically, a full financial plan for each person reflecting whatever settlement agreement they are considering.
Once you have that sort of data in front of you, it becomes really easy to find the sweet spot that is a win for both parties. A lot of times, what holds up settlements is fear and insecurity. You don’t want to decide on an amount if you are not sure. A CDFA® can show both parties how to move into the next phase of their lives with confidence that they will both have the financial futures that they envision.
Once we can show that the payor’s net worth and cash flow are positive and increasing and he/she can still reach their financial goals if they pay a certain level of maintenance, they’re FAR more likely to find an agreement. Don’t spin your wheels trying to convince the other side you’re right without the numbers to back you up! Give us a call. We’re here to help.
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Let us help you have a smarter divorce, no need to waste thousands in a court battle. We will contact you to set up your complimentary Strategy Session.