From financial insecurity to financial confidence
Here is an example that is illustrative of the cases we handle on a regular basis. Names, figures, and other details are not presented here to protect the confidentiality of our clients.
Mr. and Mrs. X are in their mid-40's, and have come to the conclusion that they are getting a divorce.
Mr. X owns a company and claims he earns $480,000/year, or $40,000/month. Tax returns from the past three years, however, indicate an annual income exceeding $700,000.
Mrs. X has been unemployed all of her adult life, having dedicated herself to raising their two children (now in their 20s) and maintaining their home. Mrs. X is disabled, making her unemployable. Her combined monthly expenses, including the mortgage on the primary marital home, come to $14,000.
Mr. X offers Mrs. X a 50/50 split on the marital assets and $7000/month in alimony for eleven years. Mr. and Mrs. X have hired their own attorneys. Mrs. X also hires Synergy Divorce Solutions. Here is how we respond:
- Organize: We work with Mrs. X to gather the information necessary to complete and document a comprehensive asset-liability inventory and monthly budget ( Maryland Forms DR-31 and DR-33).
- Analyze: After gathering all pertinent financial data, we evaluate Mr. X’s settlement offer. We project what each party's net income would be, after expenses and taxes, for the next twenty years under the terms of the settlement offer. We then present Mrs. X with a graphic representation of our findings:
This graph clearly shows that Mr. X’s offer would lead to unconscionable disparity between the two divorcing parties.
Counter Offer: We gross up Mrs. X’s monthly budget for taxes and inflation to determine how much alimony she would actually need to maintain her current standard of living. We then counter offer a 50/50 split of assets and $18,000/month in alimony indefinitely. In presenting this offer to Mr. X’s counsel, we include documentation that illustrates the indisputable and unconscionable disparity inherent in Mr. X’s original offer.
Negotiation and Settlement: Mr. X and his attorney acknowledge the clear disparity. After a brief negotiation, the parties, through their attorneys, agree to a 50/50 split of the assets and $16,250/month in alimony indefinitely. This equates to:
- $9,500 per month in support increase over the initial offer.
- An increase of 9 years in support.
- Total dollar increase of of over $1,000,000.
The graph below illustrates the consequences of the settlement, projected over twenty years. By hiring Synergy Divorce Solutions, Mrs. X has saved herself from financial hardship and ensured that she will maintain her current standard of living.
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