Alimony determination is a big factor in Arkansas divorces. The judges have considerable leeway in alimony calculation. If you know what to do, you can take measures to maximize your alimony payments. Below are some practical measures that can help.
Prove Income Sources
Your partner’s income is a critical factor of alimony calculations. The more you can prove your partner earns, the more alimony you may get. Analyze your partner’s financial resources and include all their sources of income. Include things like:
- Regular salary or wages
- Separate assets
- Employee benefits
- Job bonuses
- Income from side businesses
Note that you have to prove every income source. Proof can work in the form of pay stubs, business financial accounts, and financial statements, among others. You can use discovery tools to get the necessary information and documents from your partner.
Prove Income Discrepancy
You also need to show that your partner earns much more than you. Even if your partner has a high income, you might not get a big alimony check if you also have a high income. Alimony is an equalizer that should help you both maintain the standard of living you had during your marriage.
Thus, you must show that your income is not as high as your partner’s income is. Documents that prove lower revenue, such as profit and loss statements, can help you increase alimony.
Prove Marital Standard of Living
As mentioned above, alimony should help you maintain your standard of living after your divorce. Thus, you must also prove your marital lifestyle. Sit down and document your marital budget, with relevant proofs such as receipts. Some of the expenses include:
- Household bills
You also need to prove that you lived within your means. The court won’t usually give you alimony to support a standard of living beyond your means since it’s unsustainable.
Prove Your Special Needs
You can also increase your alimony if you prove special needs that require extra money. Discover three examples of such needs.
You should not rely on alimony for the rest of your life. If you know that further education can help you sustain yourself, you should request rehabilitative alimony from the court. Use the rehabilitative alimony to pay for your education.
Rehabilitative alimony is not just for education – you can use it for anything that can help you attain your financial freedom. For example, you can use the money to start a business. You must usually have a solid business plan to get rehabilitative alimony.
3. Ill Health
If you can’t work due to ill health, then your partner has no option but to support you for as long as your ill health lasts. Use your medical records to prove to the court how your ill health affects your ability to earn.
The cost of living changes over time. If $2,000 a month can sustain you now, you can’t be sure that a similar amount will be enough four years from now. Request the court for a Cost of Living Adjustment, COLA, to increase future alimony in response to inflation.
Research and understand alimony laws before you begin your fight for alimony. An experienced family lawyer can strengthen your alimony claim and help you get the best possible amount.
We hope that the tips above will help you get the alimony you deserve. An experienced family lawyer can help you with further assistance. The Madden Law Firm Attorneys At Law has dedicated, skilled, and experienced lawyers to help you with all your legal needs. Contact us for a consultation on your alimony issue or any other family law issue you have.