Negotiating Spousal Support During Mediation

Negotiating Spousal Support During Mediation

Mediation helps ensure that you won’t need to leave important determinations—from child custody to spousal support—up to a judge. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement during mediation, judges almost always approve your settlement.

If one spouse has more financial assets than the other, such as a working partner versus a homemaker parent, spousal support can help the lower-income spouse get back on their feet. Here’s how to negotiate spousal support during mediation.

Determine your needs

First, consider what you’re hoping to get in spousal support and why. If you gave up your career to take care of the home and children for several decades, there’s a good chance you’ll have a hard time maintaining the same standard of living when and if you return the workforce.

Look at your current income and expenses, as well as what your expenses might be in the future. This can help you arrive at a fair request. Don’t forget to factor in periodic cost of living adjustments, since prices will continue to rise in the future.

Determine your spouse’s resources

Next, review your spouse’s resources, from income and benefits to separate property and expenses. Ideally, the two of you can find an equitable solution to spousal support—but it never hurts to have a full financial picture.

During mediation, you, your spouse and the mediator will go over each spouse’s income, separate property and benefits like overtime, bonuses and more. You’ll also provide a list of regular expenses, from rent and mortgage to food, entertainment and clothing. You can use this information to point out inequities, such as your spouse regularly eating out at Michelin-starred restaurants while you’re relying on donations from the food bank.

A mediator can help you and your spouse come to a fair agreement during divorce mediation. To learn more, contact the experienced divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation in Long Island.

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