Offering An Experienced And Reasonable Approach To Alimony And Child Support
Determining fair and reasonable support is an important process for both payors and recipients. Doing so will put you both in a good position to move forward post-separation.
The Variables Of Spousal Support
Alimony is never guaranteed. Whether or not it is part of your settlement depends on factors such as the length of your marriage and each spouse’s earning power.
Alimony is not a punishment for the higher-earning spouse; it’s generally a temporary arrangement to allow the lower-earning spouse to become independent, but factors like disability or age may influence the court to grant permanent alimony.
Shaughnessy Law‘s lawyers can examine your situation and advise you as to whether your marriage is likely to result in temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational or permanent alimony, and answer your questions about each type.
The amount of alimony payable is based on the needs of the lower-earning spouse and the ability of the higher-earning spouse to pay.
It’s almost always preferable — faster and cheaper — to figure out support on your own rather than having a judge impose it on you. There is no magic eight ball that can tell us what your payments will be; we simply look at both of your bank accounts, and determine reasonable spending and a realistic standard of living for each spouse based on what he or she makes.
Child Support Guidelines
Child support, unlike spousal support, is not a choice. You cannot opt out of it and you cannot waive it, as it’s for the children, not the parent who lives with them. If your child divides his or her time living with both parents, that will influence the amount of child support.
Happily, there are guidelines available to determine reasonable child support. If we have the information necessary — namely, your incomes and expenses such as day care and health insurance — our attorneys can tell you what you will pay.
Support amounts may be influenced by a parent’s significant medical bills, IRS liens or other serious expenses.
Although the calculation is not normally difficult, it can get complicated when either party has unusual incomes, including bonuses and commissions, or owns his or her own business.
Besides negotiating for reasonable support amounts at the time of separation, we can also go to court on your behalf to enforce unpaid support later, if needed.