Can You Receive Alimony in a Divorce Mediation?
Alimony is somewhat rare these days, and it occurs in only about 10% of divorce cases, according to the most recent statistics available. However, if you’re interested in seeking alimony, then it’s your right to pursue it as part of the divorce, and it can be negotiated during the mediation process.
Many couples have the same question, though. Can you get alimony in divorce mediation? It depends on the type of alimony you’re hoping to receive, and it can also depend on the mediator you’re working with. Oftentimes, a mediator can help you negotiate and arrive at an alimony agreement which you can then file in court.
Regardless of how you and your partner agree to spousal support during the mediation process, here’s what to know about alimony and mediation.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, or what is often referred to as “spousal support is a legal remedy whereby a court orders one spouse to make payments to the other spouse. One spouse typically makes regular payments. Is this a permanent arrangement? It depends, In most cases, it’s for a set period that is not permanent.
The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to the lower earning spouse to maintain a similar standard of living after divorce. However, it can also be essential to help one spouse get by, even during the mediation process.
In some cases, alimony may also help the less-earning spouse pay for education or training to become self-sufficient.
Ultimately, a court decides the amount and duration of alimony payments on a case-by-case basis. However, courts often follow some general guidelines when making alimony decisions. In Ohio, a court will refer to the 14 factors set forth in 3105.18 of the Ohio Revised Code.”]
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A court will consider the marriage’s length, and each spouse’s earning capacity, among several other considerations. A court may consider the needs of any minor children.
Understanding the Different Types of Alimony
To help you make sense of how alimony payments work in family law, it’s helpful to understand the different types of alimony. Understanding these different types can help you know what you might need regarding spousal support during and after divorce mediation.
Rehabilitative alimony aims to help the recipient spouse become financially independent. Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded for a specific period or until the recipient spouse attains a certain level of financial independence.
The amount of rehabilitative alimony awarded will depend on factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the earning potential of the recipient spouse.
When might this make sense to you? Rehabilitative alimony is typically awarded in cases where the recipient spouse has been out of the workforce for an extended period or has limited earning potential.
Lump-sum alimony is a single payment made by one spouse to the other. You can use this type of alimony instead of in addition to periodic alimony payments.
Once paid; however, the lump-sum alimony agreement ends and cannot be modified by the court.
The court may award lump-sum alimony in cases where one spouse has distinguished career earnings and the other has foregone employment opportunities to care for the home and family.
The judge might also award lump-sum alimony as part of a property settlement in divorce cases where there is a need for an unequal distribution of assets.
Unlike temporary or rehabilitative alimony, which is paid for a set period, permanent alimony is paid indefinitely.
The amount and duration of permanent alimony payments are typically based on similar factors as mentioned above, such as the following:
- Length of the marriage
- Couple’s earning capacity
- The Standard of living that was established during the marriage
In some cases, permanent alimony may be modified or terminated if the recipient remarries or if there is a significant change in circumstances. Because it’s permanent, this type of alimony is still relatively rare in today’s divorces.
Finally, a very common form of alimony is temporary alimony. This alimony is designed to provide financial support during the divorce or mediation process so that each spouse can maintain their standard of living.
In this sense, you can get alimony during divorce mediation, yes. And, in most cases, you don’t have to file temporary alimony in court formally. Your mediator can help you reach an informal agreement so that you can live comfortably during the mediation process.
Once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony will typically end. However, in some cases, it may convert to permanent alimony.
If you have questions about temporary alimony, you must speak with an experienced family law mediator who can evaluate your case.
Alimony in Divorce Mediation: Can You Get Spousal Support During Mediation?
Now that you understand the different types of alimony and how they work, you might still be asking yourself, “Can I get spousal support during the mediation process?”
The answer to this question depends on several factors. Ultimately, yes, it’s possible and generally worth exploring during mediation. When working with an experienced mediator, agreeing on spousal support is easy.
During mediation, you’ll be negotiating your divorce on your terms with the help of a mediator. This is helpful because it allows the two parties to agree without going to court.
Additionally, there’s the added benefit of emotional support during the process. Experienced mediators understand the law. But they also understand how to diffuse emotionally-charged situations while remaining fair and impartial. In many instances, a court will issue an award of spousal support. But in most mediations,
you’ll have the opportunity to discuss and negotiate the topic of spousal support.
For example, let’s say you’ve already agreed on spousal support and need the mediator to help put it in writing. In that case, you can discuss spousal support during mediation.
You can also use mediation to negotiate the terms of a spousal support agreement. Once you have an agreement, you can then take that to court for approval. Ultimately, whether or not you negotiate and agree on spousal support during mediation depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Ask your mediator if you’re interested in exploring the possibility of spousal support during mediation. They will be able to provide more information about how to best handle spousal support and whether it’s likely to be an issue in your case.
The Role of Mediation in an Alimony Agreement
When spouses decide to divorce, alimony is often one of the most contentious issues they have to resolve (aside from the family home). After all, alimony payments can have a significant financial impact on both parties, which is why reaching a fair and equitable agreement is so important.
Mediation can be an effective way to resolve alimony disputes. What can you expect when you discuss alimony as part of the mediation process?
During mediation, you’ll have the opportunity to share your perspectives and discuss your needs and concerns. A mediator can then help facilitate negotiations and provide guidance on how to reach an agreement. Hopefully, the result is that the agreement is in everyone’s best interests.
With the help of mediation, you can potentially avoid costly and time-consuming litigation while reaching a fair alimony agreement.
Spousal Support: What to Consider
We know that the divorce process can be an emotionally taxing and incredibly uncomfortable situation for everybody involved. To make things easier for you, it pays to try and sit down with your partner to talk about how you will begin dividing up your financial responsibilities.
There are many factors to consider. However, the most important thing is, to be honest with yourself and your spouse about what you both need and can reasonably expect.
Spousal support can help you get back on your feet and become self-sufficient if you have been out of the workforce for a significant period.
However, spousal support is typically awarded for the remainder of your lifetime. For this reason, it’s important to have a plan for how you will eventually transition to financial independence.
That includes who will continue paying the bills and managing the finances during the mediation process before the divorce is final. Consider how you will begin separating bank accounts and financial assets while ensuring your shared bills get paid on time.
Hire a Divorce Mediator
At Next Page Mediation, we have first-hand experience with divorce litigation, and we know just how emotionally devastating it can be to a family. To help you avoid that, we serve as a neutral and work hard to help you work through the terms of your divorce.
Whether you have questions about alimony in divorce mediation or are interested in inquiring about our mediation services, get in touch here. We look forward to speaking with you.Can y