Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Negotiating spousal support: What to think about

Two people negotiating on matters close to their hearts may find the process quite difficult, particularly when it relates to the end of a marriage. When it comes to divorce, many New Jersey divorcees will confirm that the issues relating to the children may be the most difficult, but a close second are matters relating to spousal support. The idea of paying alimony to an ex is not something many people get excited about.

Alimony has many implications --  tax, legal and financial – which implies a need to educate oneself before getting involved in negotiations. An uninformed person may find him- or herself financially strained after the divorce if he or she does not have sufficient information. By asking the right of questions, the negotiating process may become easier.

The first question to ask is what amount is needed to survive per month, and in order to answer the question, a detailed budget is needed. Realistically, it is also necessary to ask how much can the paying spouse can afford each month, as well as how secure his or her job. While the payer of the spousal support can deduct the payment from taxes, the person receiving the support will be taxed. Thus, it is important to ask oneself what effect the support payments will have on income tax.

Before starting the negotiations on spousal support, it is also important to consider future plans. If the spouse asking for alimony plans to move in with a partner, or even remarry, in the near future, it may be advisable to forget about negotiating for support and rather focus on trying to secure a larger part of the marital assets. Consultation with a New Jersey family law attorney may assist a divorcee in finding answers to the aspects mentioned above and many more.  

Source:, "10 Questions To Ask When You Are Negotiating Alimony", Karen Covy, Accessed on May 17, 2017

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