If you are a woman that spent years taking care of children instead of pursuing a career, then you will understand the importance of alimony in a divorce. Spousal support as it is called has been a source of contention in many divorce cases.
Alimony has become a temporary means of helping non-working partners in a divorce to start or restore their careers. Below are seven mistakes you could make and should avoid when it comes to alimony or spousal support.
1. Know Your Legal Rights
The amount of alimony you are awarded depends on the state in which you live. It also depends on the divorce decree and agreement. In some states, like Massachusetts, the alimony judgment made by the court can be altered. It is best to know your legal rights in a divorce proceeding.
Be aware…Your attorney will be able to advise you of your rights under the law and what you are entitled to.
2. Don’t Waive Your Rights
Never waive your rights to the next party. This means that to control the emotions and have empathy for the spouse, some women will waive their rights by not accepting alimony and regret it later. The marriage is considered both legal and economic for both parties. A woman that handles the housework and children is putting in her share so deserves to be compensated.
Do you really have to keep the house or is it better to downsize? If it is a large home, you might have to maintain the expenses for its upkeep and this could suck your alimony finances dry. It is better to sell a home in any divorce dissolution and share the profits, move on to another home and downsize.
Recommended… The appropriate step is to consult a competent attorney in the state where your divorce proceeding will take place.
4. Depend on a Mediator
Some people in a divorce proceeding will depend on a mediator to resolve conflict. A savvy divorce lawyer can do more than a mediator can do. Many mediators are not trained to understand the legal dynamics of a divorce. In addition, some are not impartial or unbiased and may push for a financial agreement, withstanding one party’s rights.
Be advised…This could cost you big time!
5. Unable to Afford an Attorney
If you are unable to afford an attorney and know that your spouse has size able assets, then you should request that the court order him to pay for your legal fees. This is not unusual to ask, especially when there is an obvious asset inequality. In many cases, if it is possible that you will receive a large settlement from a rich husband, some attorneys will work on contingency.
6. Choose the Wrong Attorney
While you may be desperate to settle your divorce with the first attorney that comes along, it would do you justice to find the best attorney to work in your best interest. You should choose a lawyer based on his/her specialty as a divorce lawyer, but especially someone with alimony experience.
7. They Say Belief Kills and Belief Cures
Many women allow their husbands to handle the finances in the marriage. For that reason, they don’t know what the assets are. Of course, these women might believe what the husband says and the husband might already have secured a divorce lawyer and therefore taken the financial paperwork out of the home.
Do NOT sign anything that you have no record of, make copies of everything. Seek the representation of an attorney to uncover assets and force the husband to produce the financial paperwork in a court of law.
If you are embarking on a divorce proceeding, it is a painful time, but you need to be rewarded for the time and work spent in making the marriage work for so many years. Consult an experienced divorce attorney Aliette Carolan at 305-358-2330 that can help with alimony. You owe it to yourself to do it today.