Three Common Mistakes in Alimony Cases
In a mediated divorce in Albuquerque (and throughout New Mexico), one attorney handles your case and acts as a neutral third party. He or she represents neither you nor your spouse and provides no legal advice but helps both of you work toward a resolution of your case.
For divorce cases in Albuquerque, when it comes to awarding alimony there are no hard and fast rules that the court can follow. Unlike child support, there is no calculation or worksheet available, the court simply applies a set of factors that help to guide it to a number (or no number at all).
Looking at Alimony in Your Divorce
There are three common alimony mistakes I most often see clients make in their divorce cases: (1) They try to take their spouses for the very highest alimony amount possible. I have often seen this end in court with high legal fees and the court very often awarding less alimony than what was requested. (2) They try to pay far less than what is reasonable. Again, with these low ball tactics, I have most often seen the court award higher amounts of alimony, but only after the parties have spent large amounts in attorney’s fees. The money spent by both sides in these cases, by the way, could have been used to reach a more reasonable settlement. (3) One of the parties overpays (because of guilty feelings) or requests far less than what is appropriate (again because of guilty feelings or even more often because they do not realize how much money they will need after the divorce is over).
The Sweet Spot for Alimony in Divorce Cases
There is a sweet spot that reflects a real need on the part of the person receiving and the ability of the other party to pay. A fair-minded negotiation with reasonable expectations, guided by your divorce attorney, is unquestionably the approach you should be taking in your alimony case. Also, similar to the child support issue, if you are the alimony recipient, be sure to explore securing your alimony with your ex’s life insurance policy or some other asset if that is allowed by the Albuquerque courts.
And finally, know that legal fees spent in obtaining taxable alimony are tax deductible for the recipient. This means at the end of your case your lawyer should provide you with an itemized list of time spent on your case to obtain alimony. You can then submit that amount as a tax deduction.