How Does Alimony and Child Support Get Decided?

 

Alimony

Money paid to the parent with the child custody is called child support.  Child support is to pay for reasonable needs of any children for health, education and other maintenance. 
 
Usually, the total income of both parents with consideration of fixed expenses such as car payments, utilities, mortgage, etc, is considered in determining the dollar amount awarded.  Sometimes, states incorporate a formula that is then adjusted based on earnings and financial situation of each spouse. 
 
Additional dollars for support may be granted for extras such as summer camp, college, life insurance for the paying parent, private school, and even for extensions beyond the age of eighteen.  They are normally incorporated into separation agreements since they are beyond what the law requires.  The court can enforce the extra support if the separation agreement has been signed by both parents. 
 
If and when any changes occur, such as living arrangements of the child(s), then those changes need to be documented and given to the court.  Child support payments can be affected since a non-custodial parent who becomes a custodial parent should not then have to pay child support to a parent that is not “taking care” of the child(s). 
 

Child Support Awarded

Money paid to the parent with the child custody is called child support.  Child support is to pay for reasonable needs of any children for health, education and other maintenance. 
 
Usually, the total income of both parents with consideration of fixed expenses such as car payments, utilities, mortgage, etc, is considered in determining the dollar amount awarded.  Sometimes, states incorporate a formula that is then adjusted based on earnings and financial situation of each spouse. 
 
Additional dollars for support may be granted for extras such as summer camp, college, life insurance for the paying parent, private school, and even for extensions beyond the age of eighteen.  They are normally incorporated into separation agreements since they are beyond what the law requires.  The court can enforce the extra support if the separation agreement has been signed by both parents. 
 
If and when any changes occur, such as living arrangements of the child(s), then those changes need to be documented and given to the court.  Child support payments can be affected since a non-custodial parent who becomes a custodial parent should not then have to pay child support to a parent that is not “taking care” of the child(s). 
 
 

Additional Divorce Topics

Divorce can get complicate when there is no longer any communication between the two spouses.  Due to the arduous and complicated nature of a divorce proceeding, you may want to keep up to date on the status of the divorce.  Through the internet, you can access the court system’s information database to monitor things such as whether your case has been filed, the upcoming hearings, etc. 
 
Serving your ex-spouse with the divorce papers can be complicated if communications have ceased.  You need to have your spouse’s mailing address.  If you do not, there are other options to obtain service such as through publication, although you would not have every option available to your that you would if you served them at a known address. 
 
Divorces that involce children and shared custody can be more complicated or confusing.  Physical custody and legal custody are not always hand in had.  Either one can be joint, divided or split, and due to the many different possibilities of the custody issue, filing your yearly taxes can also be confusing.  The right to claim the children on tax forms goes to the parent who has physical custody for the majority of the time if the divorce decree does not specifically name the parent who is to claim the children.