Every divorce involving minor children will involve a child support order. Many divorces will also involve an order for spousal support, if one spouse is unable to be self-supporting after the divorce.
Financial support orders such as these are important parts of any divorce but are also often highly contested, spousal support in particular. It is important to make sure your support orders are feasible for both parties. Otherwise, adhering to the support orders may be too difficult for the payor or the support ordered may not be sufficient for the payee.
Part I: Child Support
California child support is calculated using a standard formula. It considers, mainly, the net income of the parents and the residential time each parent spends with the child. In most cases, a child support order will be feasible if calculated off of true figures. In cases where child support is not calculated off of the parent’s true net income or the residential time division is not accurate, the child support amount calculated could be unreasonable given the parent’s ability to pay or the financial need of the payee.
Have an experienced family law attorney calculate your child support payment amount to ensure accuracy. You can also review resources online through California’s Department of Child Support Services and work with their online calculator to see how different figures affect the child support amount.
Part II: Spousal Support
Spousal support is based off of a variety of factors. The income of the spouses, household expenses, standard of living, asset and debt division are taken heavily into account. Other factors that can influence spousal support include the education and thus earning power of the spouses, the support either spouse provided to the success of the other’s career, how long the marriage was, the health of either spouse and the tax obligations of either party.
Key to ensuring your spousal support order is feasible is to take into consideration all the factors possible and make sure the judge considers the ones most relevant to your financial circumstances. Similarly, make sure the support reflects not only the financial need of the supported spouse but their ability to earn money as well.