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Why you need to understand your expenses before agreeing to an alimony award

Why you need to understand your expenses before agreeing to an alimony award

In a divorce, the subject of alimony is often a difficult one for both parties. Nobody wants to pay more than they owe or get less than they are due, so spouses should aim to negotiate a spousal support agreement that they feel comfortable with from the start. The key to a good support agreement, if you’re on the receiving end, is understanding your expenses.

How your expenses affect your support agreement

Tallying up your expenses can be challenging if you don’t manage your household’s finances — but it’s the only way to understand what it takes to maintain your quality of life. Your divorce attorney will likely ask you to start compiling any bills, bank statements, tax returns and other financial documents that come in soon after meeting with them for your first time if you haven’t already done so. This information will be critical in documenting your expenses and how much alimony you may need.

Your attorney will also likely probe to find out more about your spending habits when the documents you provide them with don’t paint a clear picture. They may want to know what your funds went toward if they see many cash withdrawals listed on your bank statement. They may also want to know more about your spending on gifts for holidays or business purposes. Your attorney is also likely to ask you about regular yet periodic expenses such as tax or insurance payments that you may also have to cover.

Obtaining the spousal support you deserve isn’t always easy

Michigan law allows both husbands and wives to request financial support to help them get back on their financial feet following the dissolution of their marriage. An experienced advocate can help you understand what that means for you and protect your interests throughout the negotiation process.

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