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Alimony – Not the Same as “All Your Money”

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The issue of spousal support has ended more than one well-meaning mediation and polarized its fair share of litigated divorces.  Everything is going great until someone says the word “alimony” and all of sudden, defenses go up, wallets go hiding and paychecks get “lost.”

“You never realize how short a month is until you pay alimony.”  
~ John Barrymore

What is alimony (or spousal support)?   How long should it be for?  Does infidelity automatically guarantee or rule it out?  Is it tax deductible?  Should it be paid as a lump sum or over time?  Can it ever be increased or decreased?  While the basic definition of alimony is the same wherever you live, how, when and if it should be awarded can vary greatly from State to State and from divorce to divorce.  

Just because your exes work together doesn’t mean you and your friend are entitled to the same award.  Just because your cousin was able to modify his alimony payment in Texas, doesn’t mean you can use the same argument in Georgia.   Alimony is a legal issue and should only be discussed with a legal expert.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” 
~ Henry David Thoreau

It’s easy to say, “It the principle of the thing.  I don’t want to pay him/her a dime.”  Or “I’ve given him/her the best years of my life.  They owe me this.”  While this may be true, at the end of the day, make sure you aren’t spending dollars to save or earn a few pennies.  Especially where there is legal precedent for a spousal support award, it just may not make financial sense to fight over a few cents.  

At DivorceTown USA® we are committed to your Divorce Help and Hope®.  This month’s expert articles will focus specifically on the recent changes to the law as it relates to alimony and tax deductions and how social movement and change affects and influences traditional alimony ideals.

“If you spend your divorce fighting so intensely that you create
a hatred of biblical proportions with your former spouse,
your divorce process will be a lot like surviving the plagues –
you may get through it, but the scars will be with you forever.”
~ Karen Covy

If you find that your divorce is taking too much of an emotional toll on you, it can impair your financial judgment.  Consulting a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is just one way to help you determine the best course to take, and if alimony will be a factor, the best resource(s) to consider using for these funds.  Counseling or therapy may also be beneficial to help you redirect and focus your emotional energy on what’s most important.  And, as mentioned before, legal advice will be absolutely vital if spousal support is at issue in your divorce. 

With or without the financial support to or from your Ex, wherever you find yourself today, we are here to help and guide you as you transition through this process and into the next phase of your life.   

Expert Articles:

Alimony – Is the Change in Tax Changing Minds?
By: Tracy Ann Moore-Grant, Esq.

Are Alimony Rules Antiquated in an Era of Greater Equality?
As Featured in the ABA Journal

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The post Alimony – Not the Same as “All Your Money” appeared first on Divorce Money Matters.

 

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