Child Support & Spousal Maintenance

Sarasota Child Support LawyerA Divorce Lawyer Can Protect Your Financial Interests

If you have children and are divorcing, understanding how Florida courts determine and enforce child support obligations will help you form clearer financial expectations. Whether or not children are involved, you should consult a family law attorney if spousal maintenance may be a factor in your case.

Understanding Child Support Obligations and Expectations

Whether you will seek sole or shared physical custody or pay child support as a noncustodial parent, we can help you to calculate an estimated child support payment as part of our initial consultation. This is also a critical step when you are making decisions about what issues to contest in your divorce.

Most states, including Florida, have taken steps in recent years to simplify child support judgments. In nearly every case where one parent has primary residential custody, the other parent must pay child support. The amount is calculated with a formula that takes into account both parents’ net income and the number of children involved.

In many cases, there is little reason to contest, negotiate or litigate child support. However, deviations from the standard child support guidelines can be made for a variety of reasons, including children’s special needs or other financial circumstances which would warrant an adjustment to the guidelines support payment calculation.

Will You Seek, Pay or Contest Spousal Maintenance? Call 941.954.1700

Court judgments on spousal maintenance – sometimes called alimony – are much more subjective than those regarding child support. In determining alimony, the court will look at a number of factors including:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • The age and capabilities of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Whether the needs of children limit the custodial parent’s earning capacity
  • Whether a maintenance award will be rehabilitative – short term to “bridge the gap” and allow a person to become self-supportive – or permanent

An order for spousal maintenance can be handled in different ways. For example, in some cases, a lump-sum payment rather than periodic payments, may be a better option. Although there are legal means of seeking modification and enforcement of the orders in a divorce judgment, one important objective may be helping you emerge with maximum control over your own financial future.

For every divorce client, we believe in a thorough, informative initial consultation that covers these and many other key issues. Please contact us to learn your options and begin planning for life after divorce.