Family & Juvenile Law Section “Top 10’s”

Top 10 Things to Do If You Represent the Party Defending Against An Alimony Claim
By: Bryan Renehan
Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Lastra & Bouquet, Chartered

  1. Take a deposition early in the case with questions as to what things the person did during the marriage like managing household, charity work, work in children’s schools, etc. to establish a skill set.
  2. Get copy of transcripts from prior education, awards earned, and all prior resumes.
  3. Consider hiring a rehabilitation expert. (Consider not hiring one if the skill set is low since it will only highlight a low income projection.)
  4. Get verification of expenses listed on financial statement and challenge the accuracy of the expenses to lower the requested needs.
  5. Understand the underlying assumptions for the AAML and Kaufman Guidelines so that you can argue why they should not apply in your case.
  6. Look for other guidelines that you can argue producing a lower number. See http://www.kelseytrask.com/Docs/SpousalSupport.pdf for examples of various guidelines.
  7. If you have the facts, play up the fault issue both as to the relationship and economic fault.
  8. Actual income for alimony is not the same as it is for child support, so you need to show the court your client’s inability to pay alimony due to debts and other obligations.
  9. Let the court know if the spouse requesting alimony is in a serious relationship.
  10. Present actual evidence of estimated returns on the value of the marital property that the person will receive from the division of marital property and the monetary award.