How are child support and child custody calculated?
Divorce is stressful and challenging enough, but when you add children to the proceedings, it gets even more complicated to work through. One of the most common questions couples that are splitting up have is how courts decide matters involving kids. Every state has their laws which will influence the decision. In many states, the laws require that both parents are required to support their children. The courts will take all sources of income including salaries, rental revenue, and bonuses to create a gross income total. The gross income is then inserted into a guideline of formulas that include multiple factors to determine how much each spouse must pay in child support. The judge will factor in the separate income of both parents, their ability to pay, and the child custody to determine how much each parent must pay. Child custody is usually decided before a support order is determined. In most states, a judge will attempt to make a decision that is in child’s best interest. Of course, parents can form an agreement before going to court through mediation. If both parties can’t agree, the judge will use factors such as who has been the primary caretaker until filing for divorce. Coming to an agreement through mediation is always a much easier option. Having an experienced divorce attorney through the process can help keep things civilized and get a quick and fair resolution.
How is spousal support determined?
Alimony is another common obstacle in achieving a divorce settlement. Most people don’t understand how spousal support is calculated until they are in the middle of a heated separation. There are a lot of factors that contribute how alimony is determined, but, in short, it’s designed to help keep both spouses living a lifestyle as close as possible to what they had before the divorce. A judge will use a lot of different factors to make their decision such as the length of the marriage, child custody agreement, and income and potential income of both spouses. There isn’t a set equation used, and most laws allow the judge to use their discretion. There also isn’t a set amount of time for alimony payments, but it’s usually for the same length of time as the marriage. Since spousal support is determined so arbitrarily, having an experienced family law attorney is vital. The right attorney will help make sure you get the best outcome possible.