I Am Getting A Divorce In Florida And Don't Want To Pay My Spouse A Dime In Alimony - Should I Find A Lower Paying Job In Order To Avoid Alimony Payments?
It’s understandable that you are not excited about paying your former spouse alimony. You may feel that you work hard for your money, and your spouse should be required to find a job to support himself or herself as well.
You may have done some research to find out what amount of alimony you may be required to pay and you may be shocked. The thought of finding a lower-paying job in order to avoid the alimony payments may have crossed your mind.
However, in most cases you can’t choose to earn less money in order to get out of paying alimony or to make smaller alimony payments. Typically in calculating alimony, courts use a calculation in determining the ability to pay and the need for alimony, which takes both parties’ incomes into account. However, if one spouse has manipulated his or her income, the court may decide to impute income to that spouse.
Imputed income is income that the court counts you as having when making an alimony calculation, even if you aren’t earning it. Imputed income is only used when evidence shows that unemployment or underemployment is intentional. It must also be shown that jobs with the imputed level of income are available and that such a job can probably be found soon.
It’s very natural for you to want to quit your job if you discover that a big hunk of your check will be going towards alimony payments. That can greatly hurt you in the long-run though. The court will most likely not let you get away with it, and you will probably be stuck with the alimony payments, but without the income that you had in your higher-paying job.
A better approach is to work with an attorney on how to reduce the alimony payments. You may be able to present evidence that your spouse is capable of earning more money, or you may decide to negotiate a smaller share of the marital property in exchange for no alimony payments.