Alimony Mistakes Even Big Law Firms Make in Divorce

Alimony mistakes even big law firms make can cost people thousands of dollars.  Financial mistakes can also be costly.

If a mistake is made in your divorce decree, then it must be corrected.  Either the divorcing spouses can agree to correct it, or a judge can correct the mistake.  Correcting mistakes is simple, but you can spend thousands of dollars for attorneys to argue about how the mistake should be corrected, and whether it is to their client’s benefit.  Attorneys aren’t always the best arbiters of this financial decision.

Peaceful Family Law will be one of the few law firms to tell you about Collaborative Law – and mean it.  Mistakes made concerning alimony or other financial terms can actually be relatively simple to correct, particularly if the case was a collaborative law case to begin with!

Most people know what alimony is.  In Arizona, alimony is called spousal maintenance.  If you want more information about spousal maintenance in your particular case, we can help.
Here are some common mistakes we see:
  1. Inaccurate, unfair division of pensions.  When you go to divide your pensions and qualified plans, you may think that the face value of the qualified plan or pension is a fair valuation for a division in divorce.  Nothing could be further from the truth!
  2. The wrong kind of court order for certain pensions.  This is a very common error some very experienced lawyers have made.  Specific types of court orders are required for specific pensions. Some very weird requirements surround QDRO’s, while for some plans, writing a QDRO is a complete waste of paper.
  3. Failure to adjust for basis.  Did you buy or inherit property purchased before 1997?  Even after 1997, there are capital gains issues to consider.
  4. Making spousal maintenance contingent on issues relating to children. Red flag!🚩
  5. Making spousal maintenance not tax-deductible.  It may be legal, but the IRS will disagree.
  6. Causing spousal maintenance to decline by more than $15,000 per year in the first three years will also trigger a tax consequence.

Want to learn more to avoid common big firm mistakes?  Save yourself the pain of amending your divorce decree later only after you have learned about divorce mistakes that could be avoided.  As always, consider Collaborative Law.  To save yourself the frustration and financial setback of these costly divorce attorney mistakes, collaborative law may be the best thing no one is telling you about.

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