When it comes to divorce or separation, there are many different challenges a couple faces. And when alimony or child support factor into the equation, the employment state of a spouse can further complicate matters. See below for four key financial facts to know when it comes to family law, alimony and child support.
Determining alimony starts with need
Alimony, which is also known as “spousal support,” is a husband’s or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after separation or divorce. Alimony is a way of financial support provided mainly by the working spouse to the other party. And in order for alimony to be considered, the court states that there must be a demonstrated “need” and a demonstrated “ability to pay.”
Alimony and child support depend on various factors
When it comes to determining spousal or child support, multiple factors are taken into account. In alimony, it could be the length of the marriage, the financial resources of each spouse or their financial contributions, or the couple’s standard of living during marriage. The court will assess an alimony or child support once getting the full financial picture of the couple and each party. Additionally, there are different types of alimony, ranging from temporary and rehabilitative to “bridge the gap” and permanent. The type, again, depends on the couple in the case.
With child support, the court will estimate the monthly costs that would be spent on the children if the family were still united. Once the total is determined, the payments are divided between the parents based on their respective incomes and other parental factors, like custody, medical insurance and more.
Orlando alimony attorney Joseph Knape provides the many factors that a court takes into account when evaluating clients’ unique alimony and divorce cases. In these difficult proceedings, it’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side.
Evaluating spousal or child support isn’t black and white
As part of determining income for alimony or child support cases, naturally the court looks at how much each party makes. However, this can get murky with individuals who are self-employed or not currently in a position of full-time work, since their details might be more difficult to outline and sort out.
Underemployment can cause complications – including possible fraud
Like mentioned, sometimes lawyers and courts struggle when a person in a child support or alimony case doesn’t have a standard W-2 income or isn’t working full time. While there are many people who choose to work part-time, there are situations in which a spouse utilizes temporary underemployment in order to show less earned money. This is known as “voluntary underemployment.” In some cases, this is considered fraud on the court, and can lead to consequences that end up having the court revisit calculations at a later date to potentially determine attorney’s fees and contempt of court. It should be noted that voluntary underemployment must be proven in a court of law.
Have questions about spousal or child support and your case? Call us at the offices of attorney Joseph Knape at 850-225-5563 or set up a free consultation online.