Can We Negotiate Our Own Maintenance Agreement?
As you navigate the process of divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex will have a large number of issues to consider. You will need to think about which of you will get what property, arrangements for your children, and how you will deal with life after divorce. For many couples, the issue of spousal maintenance, or alimony, can be particularly complex, as it is often difficult to “put a price” on your ending marriage. While you may be content to place such decisions in the hands of the court, you also have the option of creating your own maintenance agreement that meets the needs of both parties and avoids messy litigation.
Communicate and Cooperate
While divorce is rarely, if ever, easy, an increasing number of couples are approaching the matter with a cooperative spirit. In many cases, both spouses have reached the conclusion that continuing the marriage is no longer healthy or in their best interests, but still care about each other and do not want to create additional, unnecessary problems. With an attitude such as this, you and your spouse are likely to be able reach an agreement regarding spousal maintenance quickly, and without acrimony.
During the discussion, it is important to be candid about your financial situation and your needs. You should also expect the same from your spouse. Together, you may come to the realization that maintenance payments are not really necessary or will be necessary for only short time. Alternatively, you may decide, depending on your own circumstances, that maintenance is reasonable for the foreseeable future. Be sure to include avenues of revisiting your agreement, however, as situations can change over time, sometimes drastically.
Before you submit your agreement to the court for approval, a qualified lawyer can help you identify any potential legal concerns. Whatever arrangements you make are expected by Illinois law to be reasonably fair. At the very minimum, they must be made with full comprehension of their implications by both parties. If either element is missing, the court may reject your agreement as unconscionable and either request a revised agreement or enter an order based on spousal maintenance provisions in the law.
If you are considering divorce and would like to keep the process as simple as possible, our team can help you do so. Contact an experienced Will County divorce attorney at Kezy & Associates. We will review your situation and provide our honest evaluation of how to best achieve your objectives. Call 708-518-8200 for your free consultation today.