When you first met your partner, everything seemed perfect. You thought you’d spend the rest of your days together—a split was the last thing on your mind. But, for some reason, you’re now getting divorced!
When you’re in the middle of a divorce in Massachusetts, it may be easy to succumb to the mental and emotional pressure of the circumstances. That pressure can make you take decisions that seem correct at the time but which aren’t as useful down the line. For this reason, be sure to contact the Law Office of Heather M. Ward for legal guidance or advice regarding the nuts and bolts of alimony.
One of the biggest bones of contention during any divorce is alimony. More often than not, one partner will receive a certain amount of money from the other, at least in the interim. If you’re the spouse required to pay out, you need to be careful to avoid these alimony mistakes:
Not Seeking the Guidance of Outside Experts
Many people, and even their family lawyers, overlook the importance of hiring at least two specialists in every alimony case that involves significant payments. These experts include an accountant and a vocational rehabilitationist, who play a critical role in not only lessening the impact but also even trying to stop the alimony award.
An accountant will look through everything. This is especially important in light of the forthcoming tax bill changes that’ll remove deductions for alimony payments. The accountant can actually review your bank accounts and work out your family’s kind of lifestyle—as well as how much cash will be required to sustain that lifestyle.
A vocational rehabilitationist interviews the spouse receiving alimony and tries to determine what their income might be if they resumed work, based on their work history, skills, and education.
Opting for Short-term, Hefty Payments or Lump Sum Payments
The wish to pay out larger sums of alimony payments over a shorter period is understandable. But making larger payments over a shorter period of time might not be in your best interests.
Long-term payments have some advantages. For instance, if the spouse receiving alimony remarries or starts to cohabit with someone else, then the spouse paying alimony may be exempted from alimony payments sooner, ending up paying less.
If you’re thinking of paying out lump sum or short-term hefty payments, reconsider your decision. It might not quite work to your benefit.
Spending (or Hiding) Money to Pay Less
If you’re looking to keep alimony payments to a minimum, you might be tempted to divert or disguise your income. This sort of behavior is extremely risky. Your ex and his/her partner is likely to dig for any potentially hidden income and find it.
Spending money isn’t a better move, either. Your income is what’s used to calculate alimony payments. So don’t make this mistake, or you will lose your hard-earned cash and credibility.
For information about the intricacies of alimony in Massachusetts, be sure to reach out to our law office today. Feel free to contact Heather M. Ward, our top family lawyer at (617) 903-8955 to set up a free no-obligation consultation.