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Alimony: It's Just a Check

You have done everything possible to start over with your new marriage. But, if you have an alimony agreement with your previous spouse, you will have an annoying monthly reminder of your past marriage. The key to dealing with alimony is to keep your emotions out of it. Remind yourself that it's part of your budget, just like any other item.

If you are paying alimony, it's an expense. It's an amount that you need to pay every month, just like the rent, the car payment, or the telephone bill. It's not optional. It's not going to get lower just because you took a vacation last month. It's a fixed amount of money that you will need to pay every month to your ex-spouse. Be fair. Your ex-spouse depends on it for his or her expenses every month.

The one way to avoid writing a monthly alimony check is to arrange for the amount to be deposited automatically every month to your ex-spouse's bank account. You can do your duty without the painful monthly reminder of writing a check.

If you are receiving alimony, it's part of your income. Your alimony plus income from work or investments is your total income. You must work out your budget within this income. Don't spend every month being angry that your ex-spouse doesn't give you more money. You will probably need to change your expenses to work within your new budget. Reorganize your budget ASAP so you can get on with your life. Do it now!

If your new spouse needs to pay alimony, be reasonable about it. When you got married you knew that your partner had been married before. You need to accept the fact that alimony payments often go along with that. Your spouse is probably not thrilled about writing the check every month. Don't make him or her feel even worse.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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