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Should you negotiate for marital assets instead of alimony?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Alimony

There are significant financial implications tied to your divorce. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you know how to competently navigate your marriage dissolution negotiations or litigation. Much of this involves knowing the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances so that you can make the fully informed decisions that are right for you. One area where this often comes into play is when negotiating spousal support.

Assets and spousal support

During negotiations, one spouse may offer the other spouse additional marital assets in exchange for giving up a claim to spousal support. The question then becomes whether such an agreement is in your financial best interests.

The answer to that question is dependent upon the facts at hand. However, as you ponder which strategy is right for you, it may be helpful to take the following into account:

  • The value of the marital assets in play: If the assets that are being offered to you in exchange for foregoing spousal support are cash, then it’s easier to compare it to your potential alimony award. But if the offered assets are something other than cash, then you should make sure that you have a clear understanding of those assets’ value before making a decision. That way you can gain a better picture of which option places you in a better financial position post-divorce.
  • The strength of your argument for spousal support: Remember, if you don’t come to an agreement with your spouse, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to have to litigate your alimony dispute. This means that you’re not guaranteed support, and you may be putting a lot at risk by foregoing an offer. It just depends on the strength of your argument. Therefore, as you navigate the divorce process make sure that you’re analyzing all the factors that go into an alimony determination and scrutinize the evidence that you have that speaks to those factors.
  • Think about longevity: Some marital assets, like retirement accounts or real estate, can provide you with long-term financial stability. Spousal support, on the other hand, is oftentimes much shorter in duration. So, in order to make the decision that is best for you, make sure that you have a full understanding of how long your support, if ordered, may last and the true value of other martial assets that are being negotiated.
  • Don’t forget about modification: You also have to consider the possibility that your alimony award could be modified or terminated at some point in the future. Justifications for modification include your securement of employment, a change to your former spouse’s financial situation, and your remarriage. You’ll want to take this possibility into account as you decide whether foregoing alimony for additional marital assets is in your best interests.

Navigate your divorce with competence

There are certainly a lot of moving parts to a divorce, and mishandling even a seemingly minor one can have significant ramifications for your future. With that in mind, it might be wise to discuss the circumstances of your marriage with an attorney so that you can work together to craft the persuasive legal strategy that you need on your side. Hopefully then you can secure the outcome that you need to find peace of mind and the financial stability you deserve post-divorce.