If you are going through a divorce in which there is a significant discrepancy between the earnings and earning potentials of yourself and your soon-to-be-ex spouse – and no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that waives spousal support – you may find yourself in a situation where you are entitled to receive spousal support (also known as alimony).
You might also be ordered to pay it.
Spousal support is not meant to penalize one of you while rewarding the other, but rather exists to help both spouses gain independence after having your finances at least somewhat intermingled for the duration of your marriage.
It’s also important to note that the duration of your alimony arrangement may be temporary or permanent, but that even so-called permanent arrangements can be modified to reflect changes in your circumstances or your ex’s.
Whether you are set to receive or owe spousal support payments, working cooperatively with your ex and a mediator may help you arrive at an agreement more easily, rather than becoming mired in a lengthy, emotional, and costly legal battle.
Why choose divorce mediation and what does it entail?
Consider the following advantages to mediation when determining alimony payments:
- Divorce mediation can focus on the present needs of you and your ex, as well as your future needs. When it comes to spousal support, there is often one spouse who significantly out earns the other. Whether you are the greater- or lesser-earning spouse, your needs may not be accurately reflected in the simple equation the courts use to determine support payments. Your mediator is unbiased, and instead looks carefully at each of your unique circumstances and long-term earning potential to make recommendations that leave you both with the most fair and favorable outcome possible.
- Support can be used to reallocate income amongst the spouses. A mediator has no agenda in favor of one party over the other. Their only goal is to help both you and your spouse maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living after you end your marriage. Additionally, divorce mediation takes into account contributions to the marriage that do not earn an income, such as childcare, and assign appropriate value.
- A mediator will discuss a financial picture of family and income/expenses of both spouses. This can help you and your ex set reasonable expectations for what your finances and spending should look like in the wake of your divorce—and help you make sensible decisions.
- Mediation allows for creativity of your support agreement. Traditional court proceedings leave little opportunity for deviation from the most common criteria that determine support payments. With mediation, you can feel confident that your unique needs will be met as best as possible, even when that means using unconventional methods of calculating those needs.
Choose a Fresno, California mediation attorney experienced with mediation when determining your spousal support arrangement
Negotiating an alimony agreement can be frustrating for both parties involved in divorce, especially when they feel as though the outcome is out of their control.
Mediation is a useful tool that gives each spouse an opportunity to articulate their needs and have them met.