For those who are headed for a divorce, the stress surrounding the process sometimes makes it difficult to address difficult topics. One of the more contentious subjects is the matter of alimony, or spousal support payments. Florida residents who are preparing for a divorce may be unsure how to approach the topic without making matters worse.

One of the first things to take into consideration is whether the need for spousal support exists and whether the other party can reasonably afford the payments. In Florida, there are several classifications regarding these monies, and they are based on different factors that may pertain to a given situation. In many situations, these payments are meant to be temporary while a lesser-earning spouse is able to improve his or her financial well-being. Only in rare cases will these payments be ordered to continue indefinitely. 

With these facts in mind, there are ways to bring up the topic of spousal support in a manner that will not increase the tensions of the divorce. One of the first suggestions is to avoid accusatory statements. It’s also helpful to inform a former partner ahead of time that this topic will be discussed. During negotiations, it is recommended that the spouses practice “active listening” techniques while reiterating what one needs. It is also suggested that the request for a set support payment does not exceed a party’s reasonable ability to pay. 

Finally, if these discussions are not fruitful, the spouses may be able to obtain assistance from a neutral third-party mediator before pursuing more aggressive tactics. Parties who are able to peacefully negotiate for the goal of a satisfactory resolution often fare better in the end. Florida residents who are concerned about any divorce-related issues relating to alimony or other financial matters may benefit from consulting with an experienced attorney who can help negotiate a suitable settlement agreement.