In many divorce cases, the two parties agree on alimony or spousal support payments. However, as the party pursuing spousal maintenance, it's crucial to look out for your interests, especially if you are unable to meet your needs. Therefore, as you undertake the divorce proceedings, here are tips to consider when pursuing spousal support from your partner.

1. Evaluate your needs

Spousal support covers basic expenses such as mortgage payments, gas, water, electricity, home maintenance, security system, telephone expenses, medical expenses, food, clothing and footwear. It can also cover hobbies or recreation expenses such as vacations, dining out, movies, club associations, subscriptions, magazines and books. 

Therefore, although taking money from your partner may not be easy, it's crucial to evaluate your needs and ask for enough support to maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage. Examine your current income and make a detailed list of all the expenses you will be unable to cover after the divorce.

2. Determine your preferred support option

Spousal support payments are payable as lump-sum or periodic payments. You can choose your preferred option depending on the following factors:

  • Your partner's commitment to monthly payments
  • Your relationship with your partner
  • Your money management skills
  • The period of payment

If your spouse has a history of defaulting payments, it's advisable to pursue a lump-sum amount to avoid missed payments. Also, if you don't want to communicate with your partner every month, you should opt for a one-time payment. If the paying party's income reduces in the future, you will receive less alimony. Therefore. A lump-sum amount can save you from losing some spousal support due to unforeseen financial changes.

Monthly payments can save your partner from a huge financial obligation that can strain their resources. They also enable you to qualify for tax breaks and financial aid. Monthly payments are excellent for individuals with poor money management skills. By spreading out the payments over several years, you can avoid misusing the money. 

3. Choose negotiation over litigation

Negotiation offers a more peaceful alternative to litigation. This option is more affordable than going to court, and it gives you control over the outcome. If your case goes to court, you cannot control the judge's ruling on spousal support. Therefore, consider the following tips to improve the outcome of alimony negotiations:

  • Make a reasonable request based on your partner's financial capabilities.
  • Discuss alimony issues when both parties are calm and level-headed.
  • If you are not on speaking terms with your partner, present your request through your lawyer.

Negotiation can speed up spousal support discussions and leave both parties satisfied. However, if this strategy doesn't work, you can pursue litigation.

Handling spousal maintenance issues during a divorce can be emotionally draining. Consult a family lawyer for legal advice and representation.

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