Spending alot of time in hearings, unless you are a criminal lawyer, is not something to brag about. And you should ask your lawyer how many cases they took to a hearing last year. A lawyer who is used to taking cases before a judge or a master, in my opinion, is not a good negotiator. Trials cost as much as three times the cost of working together to obtain a just an fair settlement, in my experience. Sure I do them but I always feel that the client is getting an unfair deal. Why pay me all the costs for my time to prepare for trial. The divorce code has been existence for a very long time and unless your case is unique you should be able to settle it.
However, you must ensure that you are dealing the accurate numbers. I can't believe how many attorneys ask me to negotiate when neither of us have a clue as to what the correct numbers are. I have had demands for alimony that have nothing to do with the party's budget or needs.
Watch the amount put forth for taxes as well. I have been presented with budgets that include a generalized percentage for taxes, (such as 15% for instance). This is absolutely wrong and may have nothing to do with the actual tax amount that an individual is going to pay post-divorce.
In one case the wife, who was making approximately $60,000 presented a budget with Federal Income Taxes estimated at 16% of her gross or $822 per month. Her actual Federal Income Taxes were $522 per month and that was before taking into consideration that she purchased a house most recently and will get deductions for that. Therefore DO NOT USE A STRAIGHT PERCENTAGE FOR COMPUTING TAXES.
To make my life easier I use Family Law Software to input my data and if I input the income and expenses in detail and accurately it will give me a very detailed tax report that can be used to negotiate a fair settlement. Call me with any questions regarding budgets and alimony. I will be happy to give a free telephone consultation.
Contact Us Today
E-mail us to request more information or to schedule an appointment.