How the Court Decides Child Support and Alimony

How the Court Decides Child Support and Alimony

Child support and alimony are two common financial obligations ordered by the courts following a divorce. Knowing how the court decides the amount and who receives it can prove beneficial in any case. Get the facts about what is owed to you following a legal separation.

What is Child Support and How the Court Decides

Child support is a court-order form of financial support for an individual's minor child or children after a divorce. It is normally awarded to the parent who will have sole custody of the child/children. Each month, the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay a determined amount that covers basic necessities such as food, housing and clothing. It can also cover education expenses and anything else the child had become accustomed to during the marriage.

In a child support case, the amount one is ordered to pay is configured according to that state's laws. Generally, the state will use a percentage of the noncustodial parent's gross or net income along with the number of children who will need support. Expenses such as medical and daycare are also taken into account to reach the amount.

What is Alimony and How it is Determined

Alimony is issued by the court as a means of financial support for the spouse with a lower income or none at all. The purpose of alimony is to provide support for that person so that she or he can continue the same standard of living prior to the divorce. It is normally granted after the couple had been married for some time and if that person gave up a career to care for the couple's children and the home.

Also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, the amount granted is based on state guidelines. A family law judge takes into account several elements such as how long the couple was married, each person's financial circumstances, contributions made during the marriage, and the health and age of each spouse.

Deciding the amount and who should receive payment is best left up to the courts. Do not go at it alone when you are facing the dissolution of your marriage. Contact the professionals at The Holman Firm for your needs in Family Law.

Stephen T. Holman, Senior Partner, and Justin T. Holman, Partner, are committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We specialize in Fathers' Rights and will be there every step of the way to fight for your rights. Our office is located at 1940 W. Saint Mary Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32501. Contact us now for a free consultation at 850-435-6909 or go online at www.HolmanFirm.com.