Depending on the structure of your family and household, you or your former spouse might be entitled to alimony support in order to maintain the same quality of living after the divorce has been finalized. Discussing alimony can be difficult, and it can be difficult for both partners to come to an agreement on what's reasonable. Alimony agreements should not be set in stone. Your divorce attorney will want to discuss different types of clauses that should be included. Here are 3 particularly important ones.
A Cohabitation Clause for When Your Former Spouse Moves In with a New Partner
If you're the one responsible for cutting a check to your former spouse, you definitely don't want to be the one supporting his or her lifestyle even after they have moved on and found someone else. As a result, you should consider adding a cohabitation clause into the alimony agreement. This basically stipulates that alimony payments will stop once your former spouse moves in with a new partner. You can adjust and customize the terms and conditions of what is defined as cohabitation to your needs and ideals.
An Escalator Clause for Automatic Payment Adjustments with Increase in Income
If you have children with your former spouse, then an escalator clause can help ensure that your children will have the same quality of living regardless of which parent they are with. For example, if you had an increase in income and can now afford a lot more luxuries for your child, the court might want to guarantee that there is not a huge discrepancy between the quality of living that your child enjoys when they are with you versus when they are with your former spouse. In this case, an escalator clause is usually added, and there will be automatic payment adjustments that come with an increase in income.
A Cost-of-Living-Adjustment Clause for Inflation
Did you know that a gallon of milk cost $1.65 in 1975 and $3.49 in 2015? Inflation can have a profound impact on how much a dollar is actually worth. For partners that have been together for a long time, it's not unusual for one spouse to be making alimony payments for the next couple decades. In these scenarios, most alimony agreements will include a cost-of-living-adjustment clause that will take inflation into account.
It's hard to come to an agreement on how much alimony a former spouse should be paid, and it's even harder to determine the terms and conditions of the payments. Divorce lawyers from both sides will try to act as mediators and help both parties come to a reasonable agreement after some negotiation.