5 Expert Tactics to Avoid Paying Alimony

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Alimony has the potential to cause significant financial strain on your newly single income and monthly budget. Many individuals may begin to devise clever schemes to avoid the inevitable drain that alimony can mean on their finances. However, it is very important to go about things in the most ethical way possible. Then you can avoid legal ramifications from skirting your obligation to your soon-to-be ex.

How can you legally avoid handing tons of cash over to your spouse each month for alimony? These five expert tactics will help you keep more money in your own wallet each month:

1. Try to prove that your spouse was unfaithful.

The laws regarding alimony payments will vary from state to state, but many do not allow unfaithful spouses to petition the court for alimony payments. Unfortunately, this situation will require more than just a statement from you that your spouse was actively involved in a relationship with someone else during your time as husband and wife.

Proving adultery will require you to carry the burden of proof, which could mean showing photographs and videos. Therefore, you need to collect witness statements or any other type of incriminating evidence that shows that your spouse was having an affair beyond the shadow of a doubt. The judge will ultimately issue the final decision about whether or not your evidence counts as sufficient proof to support the notion of adultery within your marriage, as well as how this fact will affect any potential alimony payments.

2. Make some major lifestyle changes.

Rarely, the higher-earning spouse will be awarded alimony payments, so it may be a good time to evaluate how much money you truly need to cover your living expenses each month. If you regularly earn more than your spouse, you are more likely to be the party responsible for alimony payments and financially helping your ex-partner. Therefore, in order to avoid the monthly financial drain of alimony, many individuals consider whether they can afford to take a pay cut or low-paying position.

One way to cut back on your monthly expenses and avoid alimony payments is downsizing your income and learning to live a less luxurious or extravagant lifestyle. If you go this route to avoid alimony, you will need careful financial planning and budgeting to ensure that you can manage all obligations on a reduced income.

3. End your marriage sooner rather than later.

While the state will provide the final determination for the amount of alimony a spouse pays, there are many factors in the overall length of the marriage. The longer the marriage is, the more likely you could be faced with higher alimony payments in states that use this rule of thumb in the final calculation of your alimony payments. If you can tell that your marriage is only destined for a future of misery, it may be worthwhile to consider ending it as soon as you can. Stretching it out for decades could lead to misery and longer-lasting, costlier alimony payments.

4. Keep up with your spouse’s new relationship status.

Some states will stop requiring alimony payments when the spouse receiving them begins to live with a new significant other or someone that they are romantically involved with. This information may be listed in the fine print of your divorce decree in the section pertaining to alimony payments. A new marriage will also typically allow alimony payments to end, so be sure to keep tabs on your ex through social media or mutual friends, and be aware of when these life changes occur. Then your alimony payments will cease.

5. Have a judge evaluate your spouse’s ability to work.

Following a divorce, some spouses would prefer to continue being homemakers or stay-at-home parents, even if the situation causes financial hardship or is not truly necessary. If your spouse has the education, training, or skills to obtain a well-paying job and make themselves financially comfortable, you can ask for a judge to order a vocational evaluation. This objective assessment provides insight about what your spouse could potentially earn with a job in their field of expertise.

Even if a job is unavailable at the time you head to court, alimony could be ordered on a temporary basis. Temporary alimony is still preferable to payments that are issued long-term or indefinitely.

Your spouse may need some financial breathing room while they attempt to establish their own household and hunt for a well-paying position. Short-term payments can offer this cushion, especially if they took the time off to help you further your own career or care for children.

6. Avoiding Alimony Payments

There are a number of ethical and legal ways to avoid being ordered by a judge to pay alimony to your ex. Instead of trying risky tactics such as impulsively quitting a job or filing bankruptcy in order to circumvent alimony payments, you may want to consider opting for one of these expert methods for lessening or avoiding alimony altogether.

You will need to be clever and willing to sacrifice some things to keep that extra money in your pocket from month to month. In order to avoid alimony payments for the future, consider the changes you can make today.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

What Is the Difference between Alimony and Child Support?

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Divorce comes with financial obligations, usually from one side more than the other. It is an expensive process, and it can be like going through a maze, where you lose money at every dead end. The goal is getting through that maze with the least monetary damage possible, and there are a few things you can do if you have the necessary knowledge.

One of the things that should help you make sure you pay attention is the difference between alimony and child support. You can tell the difference by being strategic in how you divvy it up during your divorce settlement, which can save you quite a few headaches.

Alimony

This obligation is on the part of the couple who makes the most money. You want to get as much of your divorce settlement as you are allowed in the form of alimony payments for the following reasons:

1. Alimony payments are tax deductible.

In other words, they are taxable income for your ex. If you have already sent payments before the divorce was finalized, check to see if they also qualify as deductible. If so, your ex will also be taxed on those.

2. Make sure you know IRS laws.

In a divorce settlement, there are multiple things that can count as tax deductible. Try to obtain them as much as possible. Often, lawyers don’t even know the types of things that can be deductible unless they have experience in tax law. So be sure the research has been done.

Through all of this, you must also be careful about being “front-loaded” with “excess alimony,” as the IRS will be watchful if your alimony payments are too concentrated in relation to other parts of the divorce settlement. It is a delicate balance, but worth going for if you can swing it. It might require the help of a CPA.

Be aware of “IRS recapture,” which is applied if the alimony is decreased or terminated within the first three years.

The rule says that any alimony not paid per the original agreement will be counted as income for the payer of alimony, and will then be taxed accordingly. This situation usually occurs when the payer of alimony is unable to make the payments on time—because the receiver of alimony no longer needs the payments.

Keep all of these issues in mind when determining the alimony agreement in the divorce decree. After everything you have been through, the last thing you need is an unexpected tax bill!

Now would be a good time to consult a professional like a divorce coach, who has seen this scenario time and again, and will be able to show you how to forecast the alimony agreement in the most beneficial way. At the same time, the receiver of the alimony is then able to reduce that same amount from their income. Therefore, they will be taxed less for that period.

In most states, alimony usually ends after the receiving ex is either cohabitating or remarried. Check the laws of your state to see if this applies to you.

Factors that determine Alimony:

*  Length of marriage

*  Income difference

*  If one of the divorcing spouses does not work

*  Ages

*  Standard of living

*  Asset division

Sometimes, people think that alimony is not as important as child support, so they refuse to pay it, thinking there are no consequences. Try not to fall into this trap. Nonpayment of alimony is not a crime, but if the other party goes into litigation, you can be found in contempt of court and serve jail time for the contempt charge.

Child Support

Child support will be the obligation of whomever has the least amount of custody. If the divorce settlement allows for joint custody, it is more of a gray area and will depend on your state. Some states will order the spouse who makes more money to pay child support, while other states will go by the percentage of time the children spend with each parent. It is important to check to see how the family courts in your state deal with how child support is decided upon and calculated.

Child support payments are not tax deductible. In other words, it is not taxable income for your ex. Keep in mind that any divorce property settlements are similarly  treated.

Be careful with "contingencies related to a child," which can make part of your alimony count as child support, therefore nondeductible and tax-free for your ex. Again, make sure the research is done. Most parts of the settlement that deal with the children in any way will most likely not be deductible.

Also, be aware of “alimony recapture” in this situation, as any changes to alimony that consecutively occur with changes to child support will then be considered child support and will be reassessed as such. An unexpected tax bill can hit you hard, so be careful.

Try to do all of your child support payments through a CPA. Many divorce attorneys will offer to do the payments for you, but as we mentioned before, they are not as knowledgeable about how alimony and child support works with our tax laws. A CPA will be a far safer alternative, as they will be able to point out any potential tax problems that a lawyer might not see.

Not paying child support is a crime, and it can lead to many difficulties. It is not something to mess around with. Therefore, it is especially necessary to do all of your homework and know that your lawyers understand all ramifications.

Both Alimony and Child Support have sensitive aspects that need to be considered and researched. Knowledge is power, which is never truer than during a divorce. If you want to save the most money and the most headaches, consider hiring a professional who can help you look at alimony and child-support decisions from all angles.

When you see the difference between alimony vs child support, it is easy to see how many common beliefs can easily lead you astray. Tread carefully as you seek the best-case scenario for your individual situation. If done well, you can move forward and move on with the best possible scenario.

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Should I Get a Divorce? A Quiz to Help Make One of Life’s Hardest Decisions

Should I Get a Divorce? A Quiz to Help Make One of Life’s Hardest Decisions

Unlike many other issues that may arise in your day-to-day life, divorce is not a decision that comes easily. If you have never had to go through a failed marriage in the past, it is daunting to leave a loved one behind in an effort to start a new life.

Sure, we like the idea of being able to lean on friends and family to make the right choices, but that is certainly not how you will want to end your marriage. When it comes to deciding to get a divorce, you are essentially on your own. You will need to ask yourself some important questions to figure out whether your relationship is truly failing, and if this unhappiness will last for the duration of your marriage.

Question 1: What would you do if your husband/wife said they were working late?

a) Say “OK” and continue on with your day.

b) Question if they are telling the truth.

Question 2: You are having a difficult day, so you talk to your spouse about it. What is their response?

a) They listen but do not seem interested in what you are saying.

b) They brush off your concerns.

c) They agree with your worries and talk them out with you.

Question 3: What is it like when you and your spouse argue?

a) You listen to each other’s views and come to a resolution.

b) You used to argue at the beginning of your relationship, but now you do not argue at all.

c) You scream and get in each other’s faces. Then you have to be separated for the rest of the day.

Question 4: Something bad happens. How do you and your spouse resolve the issue?

a) You work on a way to resolve the issue together.

b) You agree to never talk about the situation again, in hopes that you will both forget about it.

c) You apologize to each other and agree to move on.

Question 5: You and your spouse decide that it is time to plan a vacation. What are your first thoughts?

a) We can finally rekindle our romance.

b) I do not want to stay away from the kids for too long.

c) I am not really interested.  I would rather go on a trip on my own.

Question 6: Uh oh! You’ve made a mistake and put the wrong ingredient in your spaghetti. How does your spouse react?

a) They laugh it off and tell you they bet it will taste great anyway.

b) They offer to order takeout instead of having to make a second dinner.

c) They degrade you for your mistake and remind you to pay more attention to what you are doing.

Question 7: You really want to have another child, and you start talking to your spouse about it. How do they react?

a) They would prefer to not have another kid because of your current financial situation.

b) They think having another child would be a great way to fill a void they have been feeling.

c) Another kid? No way!

 

Answer Key

Now that you have tallied all of your answers. If your solutions contain mostly B’s and C’s, it may be time to consider opting for a divorce. It is important to remember that although you may be afraid to lead a single life, there is nothing worse than being trapped in a relationship that is making you unhappy. Even if you think that it could be the most difficult decision of your entire life, it is time for you to finally choose something that benefits you.

Leaving a tumultuous relationship behind could quite possibly become the greatest thing you have ever achieved.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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What are the Positive Effects of Divorce?

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It is easy to have a love/hate relationship with divorce. Most people find that it can turn out for the better, whereas others agree that it is one of the most difficult things they have dealt with. In the majority of cases, divorce is something that can change your life and your family’s life for the better. Sometimes, it can be better to let things go that are broken far beyond repair, instead of wasting time trying to fix them.

Families around the world experience a variety of positive effects after going through a divorce.

1. Creating a Healthier Household

An unhealthy relationship will put a strain on your entire family, not just the couple that is dealing with ups and downs. Everyone in your household can feel the tension and stress that builds up when you are with someone you cannot be happy with.

Even though you might be terrified about the idea of being alone for the first time in years, it is better to deal with a temporary period of sadness and grief—especially if you could have been dealing with a lifetime of bitter resentment.

2. Being a Positive Influence on the Children

Children are much smarter than people give them credit for, particularly when it comes to feeling the effects of the emotions surrounding them. Your kids will easily be able to tell when you and your spouse are unhappy, and the last thing you will want is for them to think they should settle for anything less than happiness.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to be a positive model for your kids, so opting for a divorce can be the best way to show them they need to strive for what they deserve in life: happiness.

3. Improving Your Physical Health

No matter how you see it, strenuous relationships are huge causes of deteriorating health. As mentioned, a bad relationship can become incredibly stressful, and there is only so much stress that your body can take. In fact, dealing with chronic stress can bring forth symptoms of premature aging, cancer, heart disease, and death. Therefore, it is important that you keep your mind healthy; then you can make sure your body is healthy as well.

4. Becoming More Self-Aware

If you are interested in learning more about yourself, there is not a single better event to go through in your life than divorce. You will finally have the opportunity to understand what you need to be happy. Ex-spouses have the ability to focus on their needs and the needs of their children, instead of being sucked into the overwhelming feeling of trying to keep a broken relationship together.

Also, divorce will equip you with phenomenal coping skills, which will prepare you for many different situations in the future. You will finally have a strong understanding of what you need in life, how much pain you can handle, and how to avoid toxic relationships.

5. Feeling Confident Once Again

No one deserves to go through a period in their life when they feel terrible about themselves. Being married to someone you resent is emotionally taxing, incredibly complicated, and messy. Once you are able to get rid of a negative influence in your life, you will begin to see all of the greatest things about yourself, which will inevitably help you feel confident once again.

You will also find that you will feel more confident in your strength, as you will have the guts to end this terrible relationship. It is finally time for you to feel empowered, instead of used and useless.

Divorce is difficult, but in many cases, it is necessary. There is absolutely no reason to settle when you have the opportunity to be free and happy. The end of your marriage is not the end of your existence. You have the ability to make a decision to improve your life.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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What to Do When Your Ex Does Not Comply with Your Divorce Decree?

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Although we would like to assume that divorces are always joint decisions, they may not be. Or at times, couples will enter the mutual agreement of obtaining a divorce, only to thwart their responsibilities once an agreement has been reached. Your divorce decree is essential for making sure that both parties will receive fair treatment during the proceedings.

Unfortunately, it is all too common for one party to disagree with a divorce decree, especially if they believe the agreed-upon terms are unfair or unrealistic. Even individuals who are dealing with the most difficult spouses in the world can take advantage of a few steps, which will make coming to an agreement less stressful.

It is important to remember that although you may want to take matters into your own hands, enforcing a divorce decree without the help of a legal professional (such as a divorce attorney) is relatively impossible. Below are some things to do when you are dealing with an ex that will not comply with your divorce decree.

1. Think about Their Financial Situation

The two most commonly avoided parts of divorce decrees are the payment of child support and alimony. They can make your breakup far more difficult for both you and your ex—because they can create a lifetime of resentment. Before you start worrying about how you are going to get money out of your ex, you should first think about their financial situation.

Ask yourself this question: Are they in a position to pay you the money that is owed? If the answer is no, then it may be more cost-effective and less time-consuming to just let it go, rather than attempting to collect payment from someone who simply does not have money.

If you are not in a position to willingly let go of the funds, it is preferable to reach out to state support-enforcement agencies, who are trained professionals designated to help you collect what you are owed.

2. Remember Your Kids

The last thing any parent wants is for a divorce to impact the lives of their children. If you are considering chasing down your ex in order to get them to comply, remember your children. You will not want to build an environment where they are constantly thinking about how their parents are at each other’s throats.

Depending on your personal situation, it can be better to compromise with your ex, so get the divorce finalized. Then you can both move on. Of course, this situation depends on how civil you are with your ex, and whether you can afford to reach a compromise.

3. Work with a Mediator

Perhaps your spouse is being difficult because they want you to feel their pain, or you have a long-lasting resentment towards each other. Either way, many spouses find that it is relatively impossible to reach a divorce agreement on their own. In these cases, it is always best to work with a mediator.

Mediators are trained professionals with years of experience that help divorced couples come to agreements. Mediators can also be used in a variety of other legal proceedings, especially with business-to-business relations.

With the help of a mediator, you and your spouse can set terms that you both can live with, and that will be mutually beneficial. Plus, you will learn how to work together during the process, which will help you build a stronger foundation for easily dissolving your marriage in an amicable way.

4. Talk to Your Lawyer

If you are one of the lucky couples that can come to an agreement outside of court, your divorce will be easier than you ever imagined. However, many couples are not as fortunate, and will find they need to talk to their lawyers. Spouses that refuse to comply with your divorce decree will face legal ramifications.

Perhaps you want to use your lawyer to bring your ex into court, or you just want to get some advice on how to handle your particular situation. Either way, that is what your legal team is there for. You may even find that pursuing your ex on your own will only do more harm than good, so you will need to choose the steps that will protect yourself and your family. With the help of your lawyer, you can establish a record of non-compliance that will only help your case.

Divorce is difficult enough without having to worry about an ex that does not want to agree with any of the terms you have laid out before them. As one of the stickiest legal situations to be trapped in, it is always best to side with the law. Then you can ensure you get what you are rightfully owed.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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How to Handle Divorce with a Baby

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Going through a divorce can be like mourning the death of a loved one. Most broken couples go through different stages of anger, denial, and acceptance. No one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but regardless of how or why, it does happen. Going through a divorce with a young child is sometimes described as torture, and it can lead to feelings of defeat.

When a child is involved, the difficulties of divorce can feel like they are multiplying exponentially. If you prepare yourself for this transition, it can help ease the pain of struggling through a divorce with a child.

What to Expect

So what can you expect when going through a divorce with a child? It all depends on your situation and the degree of difficulty between you and your soon-to-be ex-significant other. Unfortunately, when a child is involved, there is no complete separation or cutoff of communication between divorcees.

If the best interests of the child are taken into consideration, a civil conversation and compromise are essential to reducing the stress of the transition from couple to co-parents. In the beginning, it will be necessary to have discussions to determine the logistics of divorcing with a young child.

Develop a Plan

You will already feel overwhelmed when going through a divorce, and now you have to determine logistics in the future.  In most cases, one parent leaves the house, but the other stays in it with the child, at least immediately following the divorce. Of course, feelings and emotions abound, but it is important to make logical decisions, because they can affect the rest of your child’s life. 

If you and your ex can communicate somewhat effectively, you may be able to avoid the additional costs of lawyers and courts. Even if you work together to establish a parenting plan and financial arrangements, it may be a good idea to have it in writing with a judge’s approval. Then you can prevent any issues in the future.

Immediate Decisions

Immediately following the declaration of divorce, you will need to determine who will keep the child, and when or where the other parent will see them.  If the parent is not allowing you to see your child, seek a lawyer immediately.  Does your child go to daycare? You may need to arrange drop-off or pick-up, or determine who will pay for the services.  

The parent that pays for daycare or medical bills should keep the receipts until an official agreement is reached. Is the other parent unresponsive?  Make arrangements as you need to, and document your attempts to reach them.  You may need the documentation during legal proceedings.

Legalize the Agreement

A custody or parenting agreement in writing is one of the most important ways to protect your child.  Even if you and the other parent have worked out an arrangement on your own, you should have it approved by a judge in order to protect everyone involved. Visitation schedules should also be approved by a judge.

Child support may be part of this process, particularly if one parent has full custody.  If the parents do not agree on an appropriate amount per month, the courts will decide the amount based on both parents’ incomes.  Healthcare for the child must also be determined; one parent will cover the child, and that cost will be considered during the determination of child support.  

Prepare to Move On

You may accept your divorce, or even be happy to be single again. However, it may still be difficult to see your ex move on and start dating again.  You might not want to think about that, but you should. 

At some point, there is going to be another parental figure around your child.  Of course, you can’t prevent your ex from dating or remarrying.  But what you can do is incorporate certain rules into your parenting or custody agreement.  For example, you can say that you must meet any person who will be living in the same house as your child, just as you would a babysitter or nanny. Then you will at least have the chance to get to know them and develop a cordial relationship, even if you cannot stop them from being around your child.

Divorcing with a child is even more difficult than divorcing without one. But thankfully, there is an established system that handles divorces every day. Separating can be ugly and unpleasant, and it can be heartbreaking to split the time that you see your child.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of what to expect. Then you can prepare for the logistical aspect of co-parenting a child, as well as the legal requirements of custody and child support.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

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What if Your Husband Wants a Divorce, but You Still Love Him?

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If your spouse comes to you requesting a divorce, it can sometimes be a surprise, especially if you thought your relationship was doing well. There are 2 main problems that arise when a divorce is requested:

  • It is not thought out properly.
  • It is something they believe will be the only way for them to achieve true happiness.

In this situation, you’re going to need to prepare yourself to do a lot of soul-searching because repairing a marriage can be a lot of work. It is important to remember that although it’s time-consuming and emotional, working towards a better relationship can be quite beneficial. However, you need to ensure that your marriage is not too far beyond repair.

If your husband has come to you asking for a divorce, you are not alone, and if you still love him, there are ways you can work towards establishing a stronger relationship.

Tip 1: Control Your Emotions

Stress can impact your emotions very quickly. The last thing you need to do is allow yourself to get overwhelmed, because then you will not be able to see the situation objectively. In order to understand why he wanted a divorce in the first place, it is time to push away your anger, fear, sadness, and feelings of unworthiness.

During this time, rely on healthy outlets (such as working out) to help you manage your emotions. Then you can handle the situation in the most constructive way possible.

Tip 2: Keep It Contained

We all know what it is like when you are going through a rough patch. There is nothing you would love more than getting advice from friends and family members, but now is not the time. When you first find out that your husband wants a divorce, it is best not to spread the news throughout your entire family and circle of friends.

Remember, you may not even end up getting a divorce, so the last thing you want is for everyone to have a negative impression about your spouse. You also will not want to deal with everyone’s opinions and nagging while you are going through this troubling experience.

It is best to leave the situation between you and your husband, as it makes it easier to work on your relationship in a positive way. Then the two of you are the only people involved.

Tip 3: Establish Healthy Boundaries

You do not need us to tell you that divorce is a serious moment in your life, especially because you are ending one life and starting a new one. Therefore, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly, and one of the best pieces of advice is to give yourself space to figure everything out.

Establish healthy boundaries and a reasonable amount of distance between you and your husband, so you can reflect on the idea of divorcing and figure out if it is really necessary. One of the best things about having your own space is that if you decide to work on the marriage, it gives you a period of reflection. Then you can figure out what to do to make your marriage better.

Tip 4: Create an Open Line of Communication

It is far too simple for husbands and wives to shut down and stop talking to each other after one spouse decides they want a divorce. However, there is nothing unhealthier than choosing to just go with the flow, and allowing your husband to make all of the major decisions about your relationship. Instead, open a healthy line of communication and talk about why he wants a divorce.

Everyone gets married for a reason. There was once passion and an insurmountable level of love between you.

Tip 5: Be Selfless

We are human beings, and it is far too easy to primarily worry about your own problems when you are in a relationship. Unfortunately, although it is human nature, it is also detrimental to your relationship. When your husband approaches you about a divorce, it is most likely because he is unhappy.

You are going to need to ask yourself: “Is there anything I can do to help? What is it that my relationship is lacking that he feels he needs?” By taking this selfless approach, you will easily be able to understand why he is unhappy. If it is something that you can fix, tell him that you will work on it to make it better.

Tip 6: Stay Motivated

Divorce is a tiring process, and even the strongest may find they fall weary halfway through the battle. The most important thing is to stay motivated. Regardless of how you look at it, marriages are work, even if they are the healthiest marriages in the world.

Both you and your husband are going to need to put a lot more effort into building a stronger foundation to keep each other happy. Do not give up, and fight for what you know is meant to be.

Even if you still love your husband after he asks you for a divorce, there is absolutely no reason to roll over and succumb to his wishes. By working together and ensuring each other that you are going to make it work, your marriage could be stronger than it was when you first started.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Podcast” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

What is Alimony Pendente Lite?

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Divorce can be a very difficult time.  Many people experience emotional burdens, physical reactions to stress, and financial concerns related to the cost of a divorce and the impending lifestyle change.  One aspect of divorce that you might not be familiar with is a motion called Alimony Pendente Lite (APL).  As your divorce proceedings begin, you should familiarize yourself with this motion, in order to see if it is something that will involve you and your spouse.

Alimony Pendente Lite is a temporary financial support arrangement, or sometimes a court order, from one spouse to another, which occurs throughout divorce proceedings of the couple.  “Pendente lite” actually means “pending the litigation.”  APL should not be confused with regular alimony, because APL is strictly a short-term solution. 

What is the Purpose of Alimony Pendente Lite?

The main purpose of Alimony Pendente Lite is to provide the spouse who has more limited financial resources with a more balanced monetary flow, in order to complete a successful divorce.  Experiencing a divorce is not a pleasant time; however, acquiring an Alimony Pendente Lite can help ease the financial burden—if you are the spouse who has less money. Essentially, Alimony Pendente Lite balances the monetary means between spouses involved in a divorce proceeding. 

Who is Eligible for Alimony Pendente Lite?

Alimony Pendente Lite varies from state-to-state, and some states are more lenient than others regarding Alimony Pendente Lite regulations.  Alimony Pendente Lite is usually part of the negotiations that are held at the beginning of the divorce proceedings.  Unlike regular alimony, Alimony Pendente Lite is not determined by the “bad behavior” of the paying spouse.  Hence, Alimony Pendente Lite is not guaranteed, simply because the paying spouse committed adultery or abandoned the spouse who is seeking it.

Alimony Pendente Lite is not always a guarantee for the spouse who has the lower income.  For example, in the state of New York, in order to qualify for Alimony Pendente Lite, your income must be less than two-thirds of what your spouse’s income is at the time of the divorce.

How Long Does Alimony Pendente Lite Last?

Alimony Pendente Lite lasts for the duration of the divorce proceedings.  Once the divorce is final, then the Alimony Pendente Lite will be terminated.  At this point, regular alimony will be decided upon by a judge if necessary.  Alimony Pendente Lite is basically only meant to help you with your finances while the divorce is in progress.

How Do You Ask for Alimony Pendente Lite?

Some states require that an Alimony Pendente Lite is requested at the time the divorce is filed.  It does not matter which spouse files for divorce first; a request for Alimony Pendente Lite just needs to be in the initial divorce paperwork for whichever spouse is seeking it.  Other states may let you seek an Alimony Pendente Lite once divorce proceedings have begun.  In those cases, the APL may be retroactive, back to the date the divorce was initially filed.

How is Alimony Pendente Lite Determined?

Alimony Pendente Lite is usually calculated by using a specific, preset formula.  The Alimony Pendente Lite amount is calculated so that it “balances” the financial means between the spouses, as they go through the motions of divorce.  The formula is usually based on a percentage of the difference between the monetary holdings and incomes of each spouse.  A judge generally does not have much decision-making power over the Alimony Pendente Lite amount, since a strict formula is usually followed.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you can see that it may be beneficial for you to investigate the laws in your particular state regarding Alimony Pendente Lite.  Whether you become the payer or the payee, you would be wise to learn all you can about the expectations of Alimony Pendente Lite. 

It is highly recommended that you contact a local attorney that is well-versed with your states’ rules and regulations regarding Alimony Pendente Lite.  If you are the seeker of monetary support, then Alimony Pendente Lite may be just the motion you need to help ease some of your financial load throughout your divorce.