Determining Spousal Financial Support
This example case illustrates how the considerate aspect of Collaborative Divorce works in determining spousal financial support.

Kim and Paul – Spousal Support
Kim, 62, and Paul, 61, were married for 40 years. They had three children – all grown and independent.

After being married at 22 and 21 respectively, Paul maintained the primary income. Kim stopped working full-time and instead worked at various part-time office jobs while also being the primary caregiver of the children. Once the children were grown, Kim began feeling unneeded. She started to learn about various health care options – eventually completing her training as a nutritionist A couple of years later she decided that she wanted more independence and chose to separate from Paul.

Kim’s practice as a nutritionist was very rewarding to her, but it did not bring in a lot of money. She hoped she could eventually earn about $35,000 per year. Paul was earning $95,000 a year.

When Paul first met with his attorney, he was devastated. He believed his marriage to Kim would last forever. Now he faced the prospect of paying spousal support to Kim instead of preparing to enjoy their retirement together. Paul decided to meet with a Divorce Coach so he could come to terms with this disappointment and anger. This was an excellent decision because Paul ended up reaching a point of acceptance much more quickly, and did not waste a lot of money fighting the inevitable.

Kim retained a Collaboratively trained lawyer as well, and engaged the services of her own Divorce Coach. Four-way meetings between Paul, Kim and their attorneys were held. They signed the Participation Agreement and agreed to negotiate together, instead of going to Court. They then met with a Financial Advisor. The advisor gathered information on the couples’ income, reviewed their assets and debts, and worked with Kim and Paul on their budgets.

At the next four-way meeting Kim expressed feeling guilty about her decision to separate and did not want to be unkind to Paul. With the help of his Divorce Coach, Paul came to the conclusion that he would be better able to accept the separation if he was able to make a clean break with Kim. As a result, after a couple of four-way meetings, they were able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement: Paul would pay a lump sum to Kim, but would not pay her monthly payments. Kim was content with the arrangement because she would not have to pay taxes on the lump sum and she would be able to achieve the independence she desired. Paul was happy to have a clean break so he could start to reconstruct his life. It was very unlikely the court would have ordered a lump sum payment – even if it was best for both parties. Using a collaborative process, everyone benefited with a resolution that was more creative than what a Court would have ordered. The Divorce Coaches and the Financial Advisor also kept the costs to a minimum.

A draft Separation Agreement was prepared for everyone to consider and after a few small changes, it was signed. A great resolution was achieved efficiently







Client Stories in Illinois Collaborative Divorce Cases

“We chose the collaborative approach because we wanted a respectful process. We were active participants in the final settlement as opposed to having a judge decide the outcome.”

- Collaborative Law Client    


Sometimes just hearing how others have successfully used the Collaborative Divorce Process can be really helpful. We encourage you to take a look. Please keep in mind that the names have been changed for client privacy.


Client Stories: Story 1 – Resolving Child Custody Issues (Supportive)

Kathy and Tim had been married for nine years. Kathy worked part-time as a teacher’s aide earning about $20,000 per year. Tim worked in the computer industry earning about $120,000 per year. They had twin boys: aged 6. Tim worked long hours in the past and left most of the parenting to Kathy. But as the children grew older, Tim showed more interest in spending time with them… Click here to read complete story


Client Stories: Story 2 – Determining Spousal Financial Support (Considerate)

Kim, 62, and Paul, 61, were married for 40 years. They had three children – all grown and independent. After being married at 22 and 21 respectively, Paul maintained the primary income. Kim stopped working full-time and instead worked at various part-time office jobs while also being the primary caregiver of the children… Click here to read complete story


Client Stories: Story 3 – Dividing Marital Assets (Sensible)

Kevin and Jackie were married for 18 years, both in well-paying jobs, with two teen-aged children. Deciding on divorce, they had agreed to work out a resolution through Collaborative Process instead of going to Court. Custody of the teenagers was not an issue…Click here to read complete story


Client Stories: Story 4 – Collaborating in an Amicable Divorce (Constructive)

When a collaborative divorce has everything working in its favor, it can be an amazingly smooth process. This story truly demonstrates that… Click here to read complete story


Client Stories: Stories 5 – Negotiating a Quick Divorce Agreement (Mutual)

Collaborative or not, divorce negotiation ordinarily takes at least several months – more typically the better part of a year, and not infrequently, more than a year. In this particular scenario, our client asked us, “Is it possible to do this in 10 days?”…Click here to read complete story

“We chose the collaborative approach because we wanted a respectful process. We were active participants in the final settlement as opposed to having a judge decide the outcome.”
Kevin and Jackie were married for 18 years, both in well-paying jobs, with two teen-aged children. Deciding on divorce, they had agreed to work out a resolution through Collaborative Process instead of going to Court. Custody of the teenagers was not an issue…

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