Calculating Child Support
Child support calculations tend to be fairly straight-forward. For most people, it will be a simple exercise in determining how much each parent makes, and then applying a statutory formula to determine how much the non-custodial parent will pay the primary custodial parent. There are standard deviations from that amount for things like other child support obligations. Where the determination gets complicated (and where attorneys can be of great help) is when it is unclear how much one party really makes. For example, if someone is self-employed or runs a closely-held business, figuring out that person’s real income may require a careful examination of their business and financial records, or in some cases, the assistance of a forensic accountant or similar professional.
Calculating Alimony, or Maintenance
Alimony, or as it is more commonly called now, “maintenance,” is the amount one spouse will pay another to help equalize their financial circumstances. Maintenance awards have evolved considerably over the past few decades. Lifetime maintenance awards are now extremely rare. For younger couples (or ones that simply were not together for a very long period of time), maintenance is rehabilitative in nature. That is, it is money paid from one spouse to another until the receiving spouse can “get on their feet,” so to speak. A good attorney can help you examine your circumstances in detail, and help you put together a compelling case for you to get the maintenance you need to successfully transition into your life after a divorce.