Protecting Yourself Financially During a Divorce: 3 Clauses to Include in the Alimony Draft

Posted on: 6 September 2016

If you were the breadwinner in your marriage and not the homemaker, be prepared to pay alimony to your spouse in the event of a divorce. In fact, the longer the marriage, then the higher the likelihood that alimony will be awarded to your spouse. Protect yourself by hiring a divorce lawyer to draft up a reasonable and feasible alimony agreement. Here are three clauses the draft should include.

Circumstances for Modifiability

You don't want to be locked down to the alimony agreements you made. In the event that unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances occur, you want to be sure that you can easily alter the amount of alimony you are legally obligated to pay your spouse. One of the main provisions in the alimony draft should involve modifiability in the event of certain changed circumstances, such as a loss of or reduced income. In these instances, you can then take the alimony agreement to court for modifications.

If you don't include this clause, you may find yourself bound to an alimony agreement that can never be modified if your former spouse decides to be difficult.

Self-Executing Adjustments

Another clause that can protect you involves self-executing adjustments. This means that modifications can be made to the amount of alimony paid when certain events happen or at certain times. For example, you and your spouse may agree to gradually reduce alimony payments with time, or you may agree to reduce alimony payments if one was to move to a different city that may be cheaper to live in. The terms of the adjustments can be customized to suit your and your former spouse's lifestyles and needs.

Termination of Support

While technically you can be held liable to pay alimony for life, it's important that the alimony agreement also specifically specifies when alimony payments can be stopped. Alimony payments may be stopped automatically and immediately in the event of the death of one of the former spouses, remarriage, or even if the spouse receiving alimony cohabitates in a marriage-like relationship for a certain period of time.


Spend a significant amount of time reviewing the alimony draft and negotiating the terms with your former spouse in order to make sure that everything is fair and reasonable. Make sure you understand all of the terms and jargon used in the draft and the final agreement so that you won't be hit with an unexpected curveball down the road.