Collaborative Divorce and Alimony: How Does It Work?

Posted by Erin Birt | Jul 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Collaborative Divorce and Alimony: How Does It Work?

Divorce may not be easy, but with a collaborative divorce, the process doesn't have to be adversarial. Although these “no court” divorces are popular in cases where assets are limited, it is important to note a collaborative divorce can work in most situations. This is true even when there are issues of spousal support that must be addressed.

Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, is a legal obligation for one spouse to financially support the other after a divorce is final. In many litigious divorces, the issue of alimony is one of the primary roadblocks. The good news is that, like with all financial issues in a divorce, it may be possible to resolve the issue of spousal support through the collaborative divorce process.

Why Alimony Matters

Alimony remains a major factor in many marriages, although its application has begun to change. A recent study shows that women are increasingly taking on responsibility for spousal support. This is a departure from previous decades where men were primarily on the hook.

Alimony remains an important issue in many divorces regardless of which spouse is responsible for it. It should come as no surprise that alimony is a common sticking point, with both sides viewing the issue differently. With a team of experienced professionals guiding you through a collaborative divorce, you can work this challenge and reach an agreement that is fair to everyone.

Agreeing to the Amount of Alimony

If both parties to a divorce acknowledge that alimony is a necessary part of the process, the next step is to find common ground on the amount and duration of spousal support. In contested divorces, the amount of spousal support for parties with a combined gross annual income less than $500,000 follows something known as “guideline maintenance.” Under guideline maintenance, the amount of spousal support is calculated by taking 33.3 percent of the payor's net annual income and subtracting 25 percent of the payee's net annual income from that amount.

With collaborative divorce, the parties can come to their own determination on what is fair without leaving the decision to a judge who may have only spent a few minutes reviewing the pleadings before hearing the case. This offers you the chance to reach an agreement between the people that have the most knowledge of your financial situation.

How Birt Law Can Help

With the right legal counsel, you could see the end of your divorce sooner than you might expect. In some cases, collaborative divorce can help resolve the dissolution of a marriage in a cost-effective and time-saving manner.

If you have questions about the possibility of alimony through a collaborative divorce, Birt Law is ready to help. We have extensive experience helping families resolve family disputes in a calm, private manner. We also have an in-house divorce financial professional and paralegal that can assist our collaborative clients. By working collaboratively, we can help you work toward a settlement that is fair to both parties. To discuss your case, contact us right away to schedule an initial consultation.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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