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Tips for negotiating fair alimony from your ex-spouse

Alimony is generally one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. One spouse will inevitably fight tooth and nail to avoid paying an excessive amount to an ex. The law constantly changes, such as at the beginning of this year when a new law made it so that alimony payments are no longer tax deductible. 

If you are the spouse trying to get money, then you want to get a fair settlement. You deserve to get an amount that will allow you to live comfortably and adjust to your new lifestyle. Divorce can be tough, but with a few pointers in mind, you can negotiate a fair amount whether you are in mediation or the courtroom.

Gather documentation of finances

Before filing for divorce, you should gather all the paperwork related to your finances. This includes both of your incomes as well as assets and expenses. You should not count on your spouse doing all this work, especially if he or she is the one who will need to pay some alimony. It is also a good idea to get in touch with your spouse's employer to get more information on his or her bonuses, paid vacation days and overtime. These items could potentially increase the alimony settlement. 

Document your budget

From there, you need to determine how much you will end up spending each month at your new living arrangement. You may need to work with a financial advisor to come up with an accurate figure. You also need to consider one-time costs, such as moving expenses and legal fees associated with the divorce.

Remember alimony payments are not immediate

It could take months to receive your first alimony payment. You should be careful about giving a down payment on a new house before you even know how much you will get each month. You need to think long-term when it comes to alimony so that you do not put yourself in a hole you cannot get out of. 

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