One part of the divorce process that will be approved by a judge is monthly alimony payment that one spouse will pay to the other. One common concern that people have is making sure that they are not paying too much in spousal support, since it is a legally binding court order that you may be required to pay if you are the higher earner in the marriage. Here are some things that determine alimony payments, and how your lawyer can help get those payments to be fair.
The first thing that a lawyer can do is demonstrate that your spouse's needs are being met with the spousal support payment that is being proposed. If you have always been a couple that has been on the frugal side of things and have lived within your means, it will be simple for your lawyer to prove that your spouse does not need as much as they think they do.
For example, if you have always lived in smaller homes or apartments to keep your housing payment low each month, you can look at the money that your spouse is proposing that they need. Are they listing prices for places that would have been considered above your means when you were married, or are they being realistic? If they are going above their needs, that is a reason to adjust support payments lower. The same argument can be used for other areas, such as if your spouse is proposing that they will need a vehicle of their own, and you have a history of always buying used vehicles that are cheaper.
You should also look at what your spouse is contributing to their finances. If your spouse was staying at home and not working during the marriage, they may say that they depend on you for all of their income and would require a higher support payment to get on their feet. However, your lawyer can help prove what your spouse's potential income can be once they get back into the workforce. For example, can a small amount of training get them up to speed in their career so they can get back on track? Was your spouse only working part-time, and could be making more money if they found a full-time job? These factors will increase what their contribution can be and lower how much support you need to provide.
For more information, contact a family law firm in your area.