New Alimony Trends
There is a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal today, October 31, 2009. The title is "The New Art of Alimony". It discusses the trend for ex-spouses (decades after the divorce) to go back to court asking for alimony. These are people who agreed not to have alimony at the time of divorce.
The article suggests this trend is fueled by the financial needs of aging baby boomers in their retirement years and by the current economic situation. The article also describes resulting legislative actions in a few states where citizens are concerned about this trend.
As a neutral CPA in collaborative divorces, this prompts two thoughts for me. The first is how, if at all, this delayed alimony request would play out in collaborative law. Will those collaborative cases be less likely to result in this kind of action? Of course, our answers will be speculation. But it is something to ponder anyway.
Secondly, and more relevant to our current work, I would like to know how attorneys feel about the use of long-term (20 - 30 years) financial projections in collaborative cases. The Houston attorneys with whom I work are not keen for me to prepare such projections because anything can happen in such a long time span and because the assumptions used in these calculations can materially sway the results. But, I have heard that Phoenix and New Orleans cases welcome these long-term financial projections. These projections are two-fold - cash flow and net worth. Frankly, I can see both sides of this discussion, so I don't have a preference.
I am continually looking for ways to offer sound and useful financial divorce advice on my collaborative cases. I would greatly appreciate your opinions of the value (or risk) of long-term financial projections. Thanks.