By Nancy Hetrick
Many couples going through divorce know that some level of Spousal Maintenance or Alimony is needed, but have no idea how much or how long. Most attorneys will go by your budget numbers, which in my experience are almost never accurate. Attorneys are also paid to do their best for their clients so if you’re the payor, they will argue for the lowest number possible and if you’re the recipient, they’ll argue for the highest number possible. Gee, that sounds like a win-win situation!
So, as you know, I am a huge advocate of negotiated settlements whether you use attorneys or not. So where’s the right number and how do you find it? Here’s what a CDFA™ does to help. We do a full financial projection for each party for 20 years into the future. Include all expenses, income, assets and liabilities. Basically a full financial plan for each person reflecting whatever settlement agreement they are considering.
Once you have that sort of data in front of you, it becomes really easy to find the sweet spot that is a win for both parties. We want BOTH parties to move into the next phase of their lives with confidence that they will have the financial futures that they envision.
Once we can show that the payor’s net worth and cash flow are positive and increasing and he/she can still reach their financial goals if they pay a certain level of maintenance, they’re FAR more likely to reach an agreement. Don’t spin your wheels trying to convince the other side you’re right without the numbers to back you up! Give us a call. We’re here to help.