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Jan 2, 2021

Want to Avoid Paying Alimony? Follow This Advice

After a divorce, you lose your spouse's income if your spouse was working during your marriage, so your total income will decrease at the same time that you have increased expenses. The last thing that you want to do is pay your spouse alimony, but there may be a way that you can prevent it. 


Draw Up a Postnuptial Agreement

If you didn't draw up a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, you may be able to create a postnuptial agreement. The postnuptial agreement can address the issue of alimony. In this case, you will be able to say that you don't wish to pay your spouse alimony if the marriage ends in divorce. 

You may be in the middle of your divorce right now, so a postnuptial agreement isn't going to help you. Instead, you can offer your spouse a greater portion of the marital assets in lieu of alimony payments. Maybe, you can present your spouse with a larger portion of your retirement accounts or even the family home. 

This will depend on what your spouse wants, so you will need to pay attention to what those wants and needs are. Then, you may be able to avoid paying alimony. 

Prove Your Spouse Was Unfaithful

In most states, if a spouse has been unfaithful, they are not entitled to receive alimony. For this strategy to work, you must be able to present proof. It may mean that you will have to present pictures or even video of your spouse's adulterous affair. If you need help to catch a cheater, you can hire a private investigator. 

Asking people with knowledge of your spouse's infidelity to be witnesses is also a good idea. The judge will consider all of this proof and decide whether or not your spouse deserves alimony. 

Notice Your Spouse’s Relationships

Alimony has an expiration date and conditions for early termination of payment. Depending on your state, one of those conditions may be when your spouse begins cohabitating with a significant other. You will be able to have this language written into your divorce decree. 

Alimony payments also end after your spouse remarries. You may be tempted to follow your spouse’s activities on social media. Though you want to know right away when alimony payments can end, do not venture into the territory of cyberstalking.


Prove Your Spouse Doesn't Need Alimony

Your spouse may only ask for alimony to punish you, and not because they really need it. Your spouse may have stocks or even a large trust fund. Maybe, your spouse inherited a large sum of money, so they don't need alimony to pay the bills even if unemployed.

You will need to perform an investigation to ensure that your spouse doesn't have assets that would make alimony unnecessary. This is a job for a forensic accountant. The accountant will find hidden assets your spouse may not have disclosed. 

If the forensic accountant finds significant assets, you will not be required to pay alimony, so it will be worth the price. 

Retain Custody of Your Children

If you have custody of the children, the court may determine that your spouse doesn't need alimony. If the children are in your care a majority of the time, your cost of living will be higher than your spouse's cost of living, and your spouse will be able to maintain their standard of living without alimony. 

If you are struggling with issues concerning divorce, separation, and alimony, you could have one of the family cases that Farmer and Morris can handle. They can also settle matters of property distribution, custody, and child support.
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