What Should A Higher-Earning Spouse Consider Before Filing For Divorce?

On many occasions, higher-earning spouses decide not to initiate a divorce, because doing so can immediately result in an order for them to pay child support, spousal support, and part or all of their spouse’s attorney fees. It is not always wise for the higher-earning spouse to file first for divorce, but this is something that should be discussed with an attorney.

Prior to filing for divorce, out-of-court negotiation is recommended. This will allow the higher-earning spouse to control the tone of the case and avoid walking right up to the court and into a requirement to pay the other spouse’s attorney fees and temporary support. Although it makes sense to try to settle the matter out of court first, sometimes it is impossible. A very good-faith effort at settlement might still be rejected by the other side. If the marriage needs to be ended legally, then the court process will become necessary if the other side rejects a reasonable out-of-court settlement.

Some people decide to remain legally married because of the exposure of divorce. However, the higher-earning spouse should consult with an attorney before deciding to do this, because generally speaking, their liabilities will increase the longer they’re married. For this reason, it isn’t always smart for someone to remain legally married because they are afraid of the outcome of the divorce. Remaining legally married usually means having to pay support for a longer period of time and sharing more assets. For example, the other spouse will continue to have an interest in any contributions to a pension or retirement account until the divorce action has been filed.

As The Higher-Earning Spouse, How Can I Protect Myself Or Limit My Exposure In Divorce?

As the higher-earning spouse, it’s certainly important to be diligent with sharing of all financial information with your attorney. A lot of people think they should withhold information about their earnings or delay the litigation process, but it is to the benefit of the higher-earning spouse to get through the process as quickly as possible, thereby limiting their liability for attorney fees and temporary support. Being proactive with one’s attorney and disclosing information as quickly as possible is important. In order for a higher-earning spouse to protect themselves, they should make offers to resolve the case as quickly as possible, as this will allow them to save money on attorney fees for the other side and usually reduce their term of support. Many people don’t fully consider that fighting for a longer period of time in order to pay a few fewer dollars in the settlement will require paying more money in attorney fees, so it doesn’t make sense.

For this reason, the best thing to do is make reasonable offers of settlement right from the very beginning to try to resolve the case. If the other side will not accept a reasonable settlement, then they have no choice but to litigate and protect their interests by limiting their exposure, providing as much information to support any possible arguments to avoid sharing assets, prove expenses, and limit support obligations.

For more information on Higher Earning Spouse In A New York Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (585) 449-4987 today.