Understanding Child Support And Spousal Support

Attorney Wayne E. Gilbert

The transition from one household budget to two in a divorce is often a source of uncertainty, concern and stress for both men and women. Fear of the unknown over finances is common when a marriage breaks down. When children are involved, parents often are concerned about having the proper resources to ensure the well-being, happiness and opportunities that their kids deserve. For that reason, child support and spousal maintenance (commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony) often weigh heavily on the minds of divorcing parents.

Child support and spousal maintenance serve different functions and are determined under different rules. It is vital for you to work with a lawyer who has a strong command of the rules and reasons that courts use to determine appropriate support orders. The family law attorneys at Gilbert Legal Group, LLC, are committed to protecting the financial stability of our clients and their children.

Child Support Calculations Go Beyond Punching The Numbers Into A Calculator

If you are a parent facing divorce or a paternity issue, you likely know that Minnesota uses a detailed formula for calculating child support. However, simply punching numbers into a child support calculator may miss important details that can influence the final calculations. Does your child have special needs? Is your spouse making the amount of money up to his or her full earning capacity? Do you or your spouse receive a regular paycheck or do you have variable income? These are among the important questions we ask – and investigate – to help ensure that the guidelines are applied fairly.

Our lawyers have the financial and legal knowledge and the experience to vigorously protect your financial stability. We never approach issues from a one-size-fits-all perspective. Our experience tells us that we need to get to know our clients to understand every relevant detail about their lives, history, finances and individual family dynamics. These nuances help to define the contours of a spousal maintenance or child support dispute.

Spousal Support Is An Aggressively Litigated Issue In Minnesota

Unlike child support calculations, which use a formula, spousal support – or alimony – is not as easy to calculate. Alimony is “need-based” and trial judges have wide discretion when determining whether one spouse needs support, the amount of support required and the duration of the payments. The subjective nature of this determination makes it extremely important to work with knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel.

Modifying An Unworkable Support Order Due To A Change In Circumstances

Following divorce or after a support order is entered in a paternity matter, life moves on. When substantial changes in income or expenses occur involving one or both parents, the fairness of a support order may be called into question. For example, a job loss may make an order impossible to follow. However, the current order will remain in full force and effect unless modified by the court. It is extremely important to seek a modification as soon as possible. Waiting may limit your ability to have your existing family law orders modified. We will work with you to obtain a modification to meet new circumstances.

For aggressive advocacy and focused guidance in resolving your financial stability in family law matters, call Gilbert Legal Group, LLC, in Dakota County at 651-359-9538 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout the south metro and greater Twin Cities area.