Negotiating support issues
Often support negotiations are some of the most difficult negotiations in a domestic relations case. While child support is a simple algebraic formula, alimony is an entirely different matter.
The alimony statute lists 13 factors that all must be considered, none of which involve an algebraic formula like child support. Alimony in SC is in a league of its own and trying to figure out what a court will do with any given set of facts is nothing more than pure speculation. So what to do?
Many people try to use formulas such as “20% of Husband’s Gross Income”, or “1 to 3 percent of the annual income differential” to gauge a range of reasonable alimony in order to begin negotiations. Another way is to work with the need of supported spouse. How much money does he/she need to maintain a lifestyle reasonably in accord with the marriage?
The most precise and efficient way to consider alimony is with Settlyd. Settlyd has two ways of helping lawyers reach a specific need.
The first is with Settlyd Child Support/Net Income calculator. Settlyd’s Child Support/Net Income calculator will target a specific amount of child support and/or alimony and then present both parties’ resulting net income.
The other way is with Settlyd’s Net Income calculator. Settlyd’s stand alone Net Income calculator is more flexible as it allows for the entry of monthly expenses and other miscellaneous costs. This tool is another way of honing in on available income for support in a reasoned way.
I like to use Settlyd to work up my support issues is because it is based on known facts and appeals to reason. If there is no dispute about either party’s income (another blog entirely!) the financial facts will determine what money is available for support. If Wife believes she is entitled to $5,000 per month in alimony, but the Net Income calculator clearly shows Husband is broke after $3,000, then it is reasonable to believe that the higher amount will not work.
The use of reason and analysis is critical when analyzing support issues in divorce as it encourages people to focus on the facts rather than getting caught up on the emotions of their divorce. As we know, emotional decisions can often be bad decisions!