When your marriage is over, the last thing you want is to pay money to maintain someone who is no longer in your life.

Can you avoid paying alimony?

Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid the burden. To help you out, here are tips given by divorce lawyers on how to avoid paying spousal support:

Make your partner sign a prenuptial agreement.

Popularly known as a prenup, the prenuptial agreement can come in handy when you part ways with your partner. Unfortunately, you can’t make your partner sign the prenup when you are going through a divorce—you have to have them sign it before that—often before you make your marriage legal.

The prenup contains a full disclosure of each partner’s income, their assets, and which marital property belongs to whom.

You should have the prenup prepared by an experienced attorney and approved by a judge before your marriage.

It’s always good to have the document ready before your marriage, but if it’s not in place before the marriage, you can still prepare a similar document after marriage, known as the postnuptial agreement. The document has all the content you will find in a traditional prenup, and to make it legal and binding, you need to append your signatures, including the lawyer’s signature.

Be smart in your negotiations.

If you don’t have a prenup or a postnup and you are in the blink of divorce, you can be smart and give your partner a great deal that they don’t ask for alimony payments.

For example, you can give them a larger share of your marital assets, retirement accounts, or even your marital home.

If you have money, you can pay it in a lump sum. Also known as buyout, lump sum alimony gets rid of the annoying monthly or quarterly payments.

To strike the deal, have a sitting with your partner or their lawyers, and if they agree to take the lump sum payment, go ahead and proceed with it. The cool thing is the payments are often lower than the monthly payments, so you save money. You also get to go on with your life without worrying about calls or emails reminding you to make periodic payments.

The downside is that your partner can collect the lump sum and remarry, and you can do nothing about it.

Show that your partner was unfaithful.

You can get out of paying alimony in some states if you can prove that your partner wasn’t faithful in your marriage.

While this is the case, you should note that saying that your partner cheated on you isn’t enough—you need to prove it. This requires that you collect evidence that can be photographs, multiple witnesses, video, audio recordings, or any other incriminating proof.

End the marriage early

In most states, the amount of alimony you pay depends on the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the higher the alimony amount. Therefore, to reduce the alimony amount, if you see signs that your marriage won’t work, end it.

Downgrade your lifestyle

The high-earning spouse is always the one paying alimony, so if you earn the big dollars in the marriage, expect to be responsible for the alimony payments.

You don’t want to be the one making the payments, do you? You can escape it and one way to do it is to downgrade your lifestyle. For example, you can take a lower-paying job.

If you are in business, live lean as a sign your business isn’t doing well.

You should note that you need to be tactful how you do it, as the court might have the impression that you are trying to deceive. To avoid this, work with financial advisers and top-rated divorce lawyers Fairfax VA to help you develop a sensible plan.