What Should Know About Divorce and Child Support?
Divorce is difficult under any circumstance, but having children can make the entire situation even more complicated. Courts have decided that it is the right of the child to be fully supported by both parents, regardless of marital status. The custodial parent can often be granted child support by the court to help pay for the expenses of raising the child. When going to court, it is important to understand what you should know about divorce and child support.
While visitation and support are both issues that surround children in the midst of divorce, they are rarely issues that are settled simultaneously in the courts. Regarding the law, one does not generally affect the other. A parent is forced to pay child support even if he or she does not wish to be a part of the child's life in any way. Should a parent be overdue on child support payments, the other parent is not allowed to withhold visitation as a consequence.
The money given to an ex-spouse for support is required to be used to actually support the child's health and well-being. It cannot be spent to directly benefit either of the parents. However, there are some exceptions when the money spent is benefiting both child and parent. For example, if a parent uses child support money to pay the heating bill in the house where the child is living, this contributes to the child's health and well-being and, despite the fact that it also benefits the parent, the primary concern is the child, so this would be acceptable.
Though certain costs benefiting the parent can also be considered a benefit of the child, child support funds can be specifically designated to pay for certain expenses in the child's life according to alberta child support calculator. For example, a certain amount can be allocated towards things like school costs, daycares, and medical expenses. This helps to ensure that all aspects of the child's life are being taken care of monetarily after a divorce.
Key Financial Issues: Child Support
In every state, there are formulas that determine the amount of child support it is necessary to pay. These formulas are called "guidelines." Despite the mechanical nature of the calculations, there are points of flexibility.
Child support is not always simply the application of a formula. Here are some of the reasons:
1. At high levels of income, the guidelines typically do not apply. The level of income at which guidelines cease to apply varies from state to state.
2. There may be disagreements about what constitutes "income," especially if a party is self-employed, or the income varies widely from year to year.
3. A spouse may be deliberately under-employed. Then a judge may "impute" income to that spouse.
4. In all cases, the parties may negotiate a child support different than the guideline amounts. A judge will generally approve the negotiated outcome unless it is clearly unfair to one party.
Key Financial Issues: Alimony
Unlike child support, which has a significant state involvement, alimony is almost always purely the result of the negotiation between the parties. In a few states, there are alimony formulas. But even there, the alimony calculated is usually intended to be only temporary.
Different states have different attitudes to alimony. Some states are inclined to award lifetime alimony after ten-year marriages in which the recipient stayed home and supported the family. Other states are not inclined to award any alimony at all, or will award alimony of only a few years. It is intended to allow the recipient to train for a career (often called "rehabilitative" alimony).
Seeking Legal Advice
When seeking legal advice, remember vast majority of attorneys are trained in legal matters and not financial matters such as taxes, investments, retirement plans, financial forecasting and financial planning in general. The divorce decree will have a lasting impact on your financial situation for years to come. Best advice I can offer is "be prepared", know how every financial proposal in the divorce process will impact you both in the near as well as long term.