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Alimony and Child Support Awards Are Based on Your Net Income, Not Your Gross Income


When drunken friends and rage-drunk YouTube personalities tell you that the court will order you to pay half of your monthly income to your ex-spouse every month until you have been divorced for as many months as you were ever married, you should not let it get to you, because that is not how alimony works.  Most of the time, you and your spouse agree on an alimony award, if any, during mediation.  If not, then the judge opts for the solution that would lead to the shortest duration of alimony payments.  For example, you might pay your ex a lump sum out of the proceeds of the marital home, and your ex can use it to buy a new house, where you have no obligation to contribute to the mortgage payments.  Furthermore, the court does not simply order you to pay a flat percentage of your income.  If it is up to the judge to decide on the amount of alimony or child support, the best way to get a fair decision is to contact a Boca Raton alimony lawyer.

The Family Court Looks at Your Overall Financial Situation, Not Just Your Income

The court will not order alimony unless one spouse needs financial support and the other has the means to pay.  If the recipient spouse is healthy enough to work, the court will calculate the amount of money that she needs based on the expenses that she would not be able to cover with her employment income; the amount that a currently unemployed spouse can reasonably expect to earn upon returning to the workforce is often a matter of controversy.

The court will only order you to pay alimony out of your disposable income.  In other words, the court will assume that your first responsibility is to pay your rent or mortgage, utilities, and groceries and to make payments on your outstanding debts.  It will order you to pay as much as your ex needs (or as close to that amount as you can afford) out of the money that is left over after you pay for necessities.  If you are paying child support for children from your first marriage, the court will not reduce your obligations to them to make room in your budget for you to pay alimony to your second ex-wife.  It will not even do that to increase the amount of child support available for your children from your second marriage.  If the court orders you to pay more than you can afford, an alimony lawyer can help you persuade the court that your necessary expenses are higher than the court thinks they are.

Contact Schwartz | White About Reducing our Alimony Obligations

A South Florida family law attorney can help you if the family court has ordered you to pay your ex-spouse more alimony than you can afford.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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