Spousal support is one of the first questions that divorcing people often want to discuss. Whether you will be paying spousal support, or receiving spousal support, the question is the same – “how much and for how long.”
Each state has guidelines for this topic, so you will want to speak to your legal counsel for specific guidelines. I can’t give you legal advice, but the following questions will help you understand some of the factors involved in determining spousal support:
- How old are you?
- How old is your spouse?
- How long have you been married?
- Is there a difference in your income and your spouse’s income?
- What is your standard of living?
- What education or skills does each spouse have?
- What is each person’s health?
- What contributions did each spouse make to the marriage that may increase or reduce your earning potential?
- What is one spouse’s financial need for spousal support?
- What is the other spouse’s financial ability to pay the support?
You need to provide answers to all these questions so that your legal counsel can make the best case for receiving or paying spousal support.
Remember that spousal support typically has an end date. Whether you are paying or receiving, your financial plan needs to address the change in cash flow.
Additionally, the tax reform bill that took place at the end of 2017 changes the taxation of spousal support.
What this means to you is that spousal support is becoming more complicated. The questions to be answered, the taxes, the length of time support is to be paid – they are all part of this issue when you get a divorce.
Whatever the circumstances are, you will want to be organized and prepared. And remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. You can choose to have a reliable financial partner help you through this.
We strive to place our clients in a better, more informed position so they can make pivotal decisions. If you want help sorting this out, contact our office and schedule a complimentary initial consultation.
Ben Feldmeyer, CFP®, CDFA®, CLTC® is a Private Wealth Advisor and President of Feldmeyer Financial Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. For more information, please visit the Feldmeyer Financial Group Divorce Magazine online profile.
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