Determining Alimony During Divorce Mediation

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIn a marriage, there is always one spouse that is more involved with running the house while the other is earning a major part of the income to cater to the needs of the family. Both spouses may also often be working alongside, yet one of them will have a higher earning capacity than the other. This is why alimony payments, also known as spousal support, is so important in an Orange County divorce. It is meant to provide financial stability to the lower earning spouse once the relation ends.

Even in Orange County divorce mediation, this has an important role to play.  Here is the approach that Orange County divorce mediators should take in alimony discussions between spouses.

·        Identify whether they have reached an agreement on it or not

Sometimes, spouses coming for mediation have already decided a number of issues amongst themselves. They merely use the platform of mediation to formalize what was discussed. If the spouses in front of you have decided on how the alimony payments will be made, then your job in this regard is almost complete. All you need to check is whether the payments are to be made yearly or monthly. If however, the agreement has not been reached, you need to encourage the parties to do so and highlight the importance of the process to them in the mean time.

·        How long will the alimony be payable?

The intricacies of a divorce resolution must be known to the divorce mediator. They should ask questions and allow the spouses to fill in the gaps. For example, putting no limit on the alimony payment will be a disadvantage for the spouse making the payment. There are a number of alimony termination options as well which can be placed in the contract.

·        Is one party in need of alimony and can the other party pay?

The most important question in alimony payments is quantifying the amount that the other spouse needs. On top of that, some spouses will also seek advice from the divorce mediator on whether or not the spouse seeking alimony deserves it. Yet, in all this, the mediator needs to keep in mind the fact that theirs is a role of facilitation only. The decisions need to be taken by the spouse and the mediator cannot give their opinion which may affect the decision.

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