Alimony quickly becomes a sore spot during divorce proceedings. Regular payments can significantly affect the budget and finances of the ex-spouse who supports the other.
Though laws govern the rules around spousal support, the breadwinning individual has options for possibly minimizing alimony.
Buying out a spouse
Both parties can agree to a lump sum payment that resolves all financial concerns. The other spouse will waive future alimony obligations. The possibility of a future modification may not be a concern during the separation, but a later motion to alter the arrangement could create additional financial burdens, legal costs and stress.
A spouse can determine if a buyout is possible. The contract will likely consider the present value of the sum versus future payments. Tax considerations also make due diligence vital when drafting such an agreement.
Assuming more debts
Another option could be for the financially independent mate to assume responsibility for debts the couple had together in lieu of paying additional alimony. Liabilities are part of the calculation of the value of any estate.
The court will not change the debt contract, but it can put the responsibility of payment on one spouse. While both spouses may have their names on a car payment or mortgage, only one pays the bill.
Proving a lower standard of living
The law entitles the lower-earning spouse to maintain a similar standard of living as the person had during the marriage. With assiduous recordkeeping, budgets and receipts, the primary income earner can fight any claims that the other spouse had a much higher standard of living than the facts show.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are often the ideal ways to limit spousal support payments. When such an option has passed, a person can use other strategies to avoid a burdensome alimony contract.