Questions regarding spousal support


My husband & I are working on the final details of our separation agreement (we’ve been using a mediator). To summarize, I am currently a stay-at-home parent (for 11 yrs.); we were married 18 yrs. before splitting; he has a base salary of 160K, with bonus potential of 20%; we have about 66K in debt. To balance the debt division, we’ve agreed to subtract my portion from our 401K accounts. (He is taking all of the monthly debt payments).

We’ve reached an agreement on current monthly support payments, however, we’ve hit a wall with future support payments. My husband does not think any future bonuses or increases in salary should be calculated for spousal support. However, if he has a significant decrease, my support decreases. With that, any job I acquire, he has agreed not to factor that into the calculations (although my earning potential would be about 1/4 of his). I’m having a hard time with this because I’m not sure if this is a fair trade-off, given that I’m giving up about 33K from the 401K to off-set the debt. Now, he claims he intends to use his bonus money to pay off the debt, but it seems to me he’s getting the benefit two-fold. Unless I’m not seeing it clearly, in which case, this is why I need some objective advice (the mediator is supposed to remain neutral).

Thank you in advance!


I’m not really sure what your specific question is. You can’t force your husband to agree to your proposed terms, but I do think that it is reasonable to include a clause that allows you to get a percentage of any bonus he receives. This is something we often include in agreements.