Whether you make a substantially sized income in comparison to your spouse or you have been married for a long time, alimony (sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance payments) is a real possibility once you go through a divorce. If you are pretty certain that alimony is going to be a necessary part of your upcoming divorce, it is best to get fully prepared for this new financial change before you even file the paperwork. Here are a few things you will definitely need to do before the divorce if you suspect you will be responsible for alimony payments to your current spouse.
Keep communication lines open about alimony with your spouse if at all possible.
In many situations, it is up to the judge to decide whether alimony should be ordered for one person in a marriage or the other, but in most, the voiced interest in alimony by your spouse will be a determining factor. It is a much better idea to talk to your spouse now about alimony and spousal support than to have the idea sprung on you once the divorce is filed. If the two of you can come up with a pre-arranged alimony payment amount that you can both be satisfied with, the judge will likely go along with your agreement.
Start dividing your finances before you file for a divorce.
If you and your partner have combined your incomes for a number of years, it can make it even more difficult for you to have a good judgement of how much you really have coming in. This will make determining alimony more complicated. Go ahead and start separating your income from your spouse's. For example, if you have your paycheck deposited into a joint account, open your own checking account and deposit it there instead.
Know your expenses and liquidate joint debt accounts.
It is not uncommon for one spouse or the other to actually handle paying all the bills every month, even if they are not the main income provider in the relationship. Before you get a divorce and are left with possibly more bills than you expect, it is best to have a full understanding of your expenses. This will be highly important when trying to determine how much you can even afford to pay in alimony. Likewise, if you have joint debts, it is better to liquidate those accounts or assign those debts to one party or the other before the divorce.
For more information about alimony and what you can do to prepare for making those payments, contact an attorney like those at Hackworth Law.