The Rational Spousal Support Maintenance Approach

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsSpousal support/maintenance is something that most spouses that are in a better economic state to their other spouse will have to pay once they decide to part ways. The idea of spousal support which is also known as alimony is designed to make sure that the dependent spouse in the marriage is protected during and post-divorce.

Determining spousal support in divorce can be complicated as there are various techniques that judges use to determine the amount of spousal support. Generally people who through a litigated divorce will be given out formulaic approach for support orders that have a stark disregard of the situation of the couple, and instead focus on black and white procedural rules.

A Comfortable Way Out

While the courts must stick with the rules and set precedents in deciding a spousal support order, people who go to divorce mediation will have the chance to getting their spousal support decided rationally.

The rational approach is a popular approach that most spouse uses with one another when deciding their post-divorce alimony payments. Use of this approach typically leads to a more just settlement that is closely modeled on the current economic situation of the parties.

The Rational Approach

The rational approach derives its concept from the word rational which loosely translated means reasonable. If you are considering divorce mediation in Orange County with your spouse, looking to make use of this approach, here is a lowdown on how it works.

The process starts with a detailed analysis of the living expenses that can be reasonably associated with each party. It is important at this stage that the two parties don’t get into a futile argument as to what expense to keep and what to leave.

If you think that you have a legitimate claim to some expense that needs to be added in your reasonable expense list and your spouse should accept it. It is advisable that you carry a credit card, a monthly bank bill of the withdrawals of cash made each month and the monthly receipts of items you regularly need in your life. If you are able to show all of the evidences your case in front of the other party will strengthen, more often than not compelling them to agree to your assertions.

The rational approach will usually divide the spousal payments into multiple schedule lines, easier for the spouses to divide amongst each other. The common factors that need to be taken into account before deciding on the rational approach spousal maintenance are:

  • Monthly payment of spousal maintenance
  • Gross monthly income covering all sources
  • Total expenses that incurred monthly
  • The total monthly income with respect to adding of spousal maintenance received and subtraction of spousal maintenance paid.
  • The total number of taxes that have been paid by each party off their incomes
  • Net income that is left remaining post payment of taxes and deduction of expenses.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”