How Much Spousal Support is Enough?

Spousal Support

Most couples going through divorce know that some level of Spousal Maintenance or Alimony is needed, but have no idea how much or how long. Most attorneys will go by your budget numbers, which in my experience are almost never accurate. Attorneys in traditional divorce are also paid to do their best for their clients so if you’re the payor, they will argue for the lowest number possible and if you’re the recipient, they’ll argue for the highest number possible. This is the traditional scorched earth, stand in front of a judge in court, litigated process. No one wants that.

There is a better way!

That better way is collaborative divorce. And is all things collaborative divorce.

In collaborative we use state guideline numbers but are able to work with each party and do what is best for both of you. A critical part of that process is the CDFA®. Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. This financial professional has specific education and certification in divorce finances. Not so with your average attorney. The CDFA® can do a full financial projection for each party for 5,10 or even 20 years into the future. Include all expenses, income, assets and liabilities. Basically a full financial plan for each person reflecting whatever settlement agreement they are considering.

Once you have that sort of data in front of you, it becomes really easy to find the sweet spot that is a win win (get it?) for both parties. We want both parties to move into the next phase of their lives with confidence that they will have the financial future settled.

Once we can show that the payor's net worth and cash flow are workable and he/she can still reach their financial goals if they pay a certain level of maintenance, they're far more likely to reach an agreement. Give us a call. We’re here to help.

This article was submitted by Donald Morris CDFA® and financial advisor. Donald is also serving at the current president of He can be reached at 614-339-1000