An article in Forbes magazine talked about three women who have refused alimony they would have been awarded. Not only are alimony laws changing, such as the recent elimination of permanent alimony in New Jersey, but society’s attitudes towards alimony as part of divorce and financial settlements is changing as well.
A Fourth Woman’s Story
A member of the Easysoft Legal Software team has a similar story. His parents divorced in 1976 after eighteen years of marriage. His mother had given up her education career to stay home and raise their four children. Her teaching credentials were long expired and her college degree from the 1950s all but useless in the job market, so she was facing a tough road. Despite that, she refused when her lawyer said she should ask for alimony as part of the settlement, saying it wasn’t her husband’s job to support her anymore.
She wasn’t left destitute. There was a division of property, including the family house that was paid out monthly rather than in a lump sum. So she did receive a type of support, but it was a finite amount, and it was from assets she had helped earn. The payments lasted about eight years, enough time for her to get enough job experience to end up in a career in the state government that lasted until she retired.
More Options Means Faster Resolution
Even if the law says one spouse is entitled, alimony may not be the best choice especially when children are involved. As Forbes reader Michel Buhler commented on the article, “the lack of alimony allows co-parents to actually parent and forge positive relationships for their kids”. Other options such as increasing child support or monthly property settlement payments might be healthier to the family dynamic.
Easysoft Legal Software’s Divorce Financials software doesn’t lock you into traditional alimony calculations if you don’t want them. You can create multiple scenarios that examine the division of assets and liabilities, as well as the awarding of spousal or child support. You can even calculate the tax implications of an arrangement — child support is non-taxable so might be more advantageous than alimony to the recipient. When you bring so many options to the negotiation table, you are more likely to find a solution that is fairer to everyone involved.
Family attorney software should be more than a simple alimony calculator. Features such as lifestyle analysis, pension valuation, and the tax tradeoffs of alimony vs. child support are critical if you want to be able to present comprehensive and reasonable settlements. Learn more about Divorce Financials and how it can streamline your family law practice.