What Divorcing Dads Need to Know About Child Support and Spousal Support

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child and spousal support divorced dads lawIf you are a father who is going through the divorce process, you’ll probably be concerned about your finances. In addition to dealing with the costs of the divorce itself, including legal fees and expenses related to finding new living arrangements, you’re going to need to create a new budget to determine how you can cover your ongoing expenses. In the midst of all of this, you may also have to deal with requirements to pay child support or spousal support, and you’ll want to understand when these types of payments are appropriate and how they are calculated.

The Purpose of Financial Support

Being required to pay support to your ex-spouse may seem like a punishment or penalty. However, this is usually not the reason that financial support is ordered. Instead, these payments are meant to ensure that you, your ex, and your children will all have the financial resources you need. 

Child support is paid for the benefit of children, ensuring that they will be provided for after their parents’ divorce. Each state has different laws that specify how child support obligations are calculated, but the amount of payments is usually based on the income that each parent earns, as well as the amount of parenting time children spend with each parent. While the parent who has more parenting time will usually receive child support from the other, this is not always the case. If you earn less than your ex, she could be required to pay child support to you, depending on the methods used to calculate child support in your state.

It’s also important to note that when child support obligations are calculated under state laws, these payments are usually meant to provide for children’s basic needs, such as food to eat, a place to live, and clothing. However, there are a variety of other child-related expenses that you and your ex may need to address. The amount you will pay in child support may need to be adjusted to ensure that you and your ex can cover costs such as medical insurance, educational expenses, and costs related to your children’s extracurricular activities.

Spousal support, which is sometimes called spousal maintenance or alimony, may be awarded if there is a large difference between your income and the amount your spouse earns. These payments are meant to make sure you can both keep living at the standard you were used to while you were married. While some states may allow “marital misconduct” such as infidelity to be considered when deciding whether to award spousal support, in most cases, these decisions will be based on factors such as your and your ex’s needs, the amount of income that each of you is able to earn, whether either of you made sacrifices to your career because of family responsibilities, or whether one spouse helped the other obtain an education or pursue career opportunities. 

If spousal support is awarded, it will usually be calculated based on the amount of income that you and your ex earn, and it will be paid for a certain percentage of the amount of time you were married. In some cases, alimony will be reviewed regularly to determine whether it should continue, and these payments will usually end if the recipient gets remarried or begins living with a new partner.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

 There are many factors that must be considered when calculating child support obligations and determining whether spousal support should be awarded in a divorce case. You can make sure these issues will be handled properly by working with an experienced divorce lawyer, who will advocate for your financial interests while helping you make sure your children will be provided for. By understanding your rights and your financial obligations, you can be prepared for financial success as you move on from your divorce.

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