Your divorce might leave you in a financial predicament. While you’ll only be able to keep some of the marital estate for yourself, you’ll also face an increase in expenses at a time when your household income dramatically drops. That can be a frightening prospect, but there are steps you can take to secure your financial future. One of them is to aggressively seek out the spousal support you deserve.
How to build a case for alimony
When considering whether alimony will be awarded, the court will assess several factors, including the length of your marriage, your marital standard of living, and any sacrifices that you made during your marriage. Therefore, as you prepare your arguments for spousal support, you should consider looking in the following places for evidence to support your position:
- Documentation that demonstrates the lifestyle that you enjoyed during your marriage: Your marital standard of living could be key to the outcome of your alimony dispute. The court will try to make a decision that puts you and your spouse in a position to enjoy the same standard of living that you possessed during your marriage, or at least as close to that standard of living as possible. So, you’ll want to gather everything from shopping receipts to vehicle titles and vacations invoices, and you should be prepared to testify about the type of life you lived during your marriage.
- A job search that shows what type of employment you qualify for and what its corresponding income will be: Before awarding alimony, the court is going to assess your ability to secure financial resources on your own. After all, most spousal support is intended to provide stability until the receiving spouse can become self-sufficient. If you can demonstrate that you’ve sought out employment and are still short on the financial resources that you need and deserve, then you’ll be in a stronger position to recover what you’re owed.
- A post-divorce budget that is realistic in portraying your anticipated expenses and your income: To determine the financial resources you need to survive and enjoy something like the marital standard of living, the court will want a realistic picture of your income and expenses. A post-divorce budget can do this, and it can also help you temper your expectations and know exactly what you need to ask for.
- Documentation that shows your spouse’s income and their ability to pay support: The court will only order your spouse to pay support if they can afford to do so. Therefore, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that they have the income needed to pay the support that you’ve requested.
- Witness accounts that highlight how your education or career was inhibited by your decision to help support your spouse or raise your family: You’ll be in a stronger position to recover spousal support if you can show that you’d be in better financial position if you hadn’t made sacrifices for your spouse or your family. Your own testimony can be strong here, but so, too, can the testimony of family members, friends, and former co-workers and employers.
Be ready to advocate for the financial stability that you deserve
There’s no guarantee that you’ll recover spousal support through your divorce, but you might have strong arguments to help you get where you want to be. You don’t want to miss that opportunity. So, if you want to recover the spousal support you deserve, then now is the time to start gathering the evidence you need to secure the outcome you want.