Calculating Financial Obligations in Family Law

Calculating Financial Obligations in Family Law

Divorce is a difficult process, but even more so if you do not handle child support and alimony issues properly. Understanding the differences between these two types of payments is important for all couples. Learn what factors are used to determine if you will be paying or receiving spousal or child support, and how these payments may change over time.

Typically, child support is paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent for their share of financial obligations related to raising a child. This includes things like clothing, food, shelter, education, and medical expenses. Typically, this payment is based on a percentage of the parents’ combined net income. Often, it will also be adjusted for certain expenses that the child would normally have to pay for on their own, such as extracurricular activities or healthcare costs not covered by insurance.

Spousal or alimony payments are court-ordered money that one spouse receives from the other after a divorce or legal separation. These are generally based on a judge’s discretion, and the amount and duration of alimony depends on state laws and each spouse’s individual situation. Judges will look at a spouse’s current and potential earning capacity, as well as any property they own. Additionally, they will consider how much time the spouse spent out of the workforce to care for children or other responsibilities during the marriage. They might also consider whether the spouse has a history of domestic violence or other criminal activity that could affect their ability to earn a living on their own.

While alimony is less common than it once was, some spouses who spent their lives taking care of their children and/or household may need to return to the workforce or at least resume working at some level to reestablish their financial independence. Alimony may be awarded for a set period of time or until the recipient spouse remarries, but in some cases it is a permanent obligation, similar to how a marriage is considered to end with the death of either spouse.

If you have questions about alimony or child support, or need help filing for divorce, speak with an experienced Miami family law attorney. The right divorce lawyer in Miami, FL can help you understand the law and make sure that your rights are protected as you navigate this stressful process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.