Child support is calculated using the child support guidelines, alimony affects the amount of child support you will receive. Even if the PPR does not work outside the home, income can still be imputed. You should consult an attorney to see what you may be entitled to.
I concur with Ms. Ginzburg. When calculating child support alimony, as well as any other sources of income, should be investigated in order to arrive at the appropriate amount of support.
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It depends on how a case is being negotiated. Generally, alimony is used first, because it is used in calculating child support under the child support guidelines. However, in high income cases, or in cases where the child is over 18 years of age, and the guidelines are not presumptive, the parties can figure the needs of the child, i.e. college expenses, support, etc., and then calculate the alimony. Speak with an attorney immediately, as each case is different.
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Alimony first. Deduct the amount paid from the income of the payor and add it into the income of the payee before calculating child support.
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You need to compute alimony first because it is an income shifting event. Earning capacity is the key.
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Alimony must be determined first as it impacts the income for both parties in the child support calculation.
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Alimony was created to assist a spouse who lost the opportunity to advance his or her career during the marriage. The purpose of alimony is to assist that spouse in maintaining a comparable life style that he or she shared while he or she was married. Some of the factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not to award alimony include, but are not limited to, their respective ability to pay, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, their earning capabilities and employability and equitable distribution of the marital property. Whereas, Child support is determined by using the New Jersey child support guidelines. The guidelines utilize an income proportionate calculation to determine the noncustodial parent's weekly child support obligation. This weekly obligation is then adjusted to account for the noncustodial parent's overnight schedule, the cost of medical insurance, any extraordinary or reoccurring medical expenses, daycare costs and any other support obligation.
The child support calculation is presumed to be the accurate number and in the child's best interest. The court, however, does have the ability to deviate from the child support guidelines if it is found to be in the child's best interest.
Alimony is typically determined first and then factored into the child support guidelines. In order to determine whether an award of alimony is appropriate and, if so, what type, for how long and how much, courts are required to consider the following factors:
1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay.
2. The duration of the marriage.
3. The parties’ age, physical and emotional health.
4. The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living.
5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties.
6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance.
7. The parental responsibilities for the children.
8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities.
10. The equitable distribution of property and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair.
11. The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party.
12. The tax treatment and consequences to both of any alimony award including the designation of all or a portion of the
payment as a non-taxable payment.
Unless otherwise specified in your settlement agreement, alimony is taxable as income to the dependent spouse and non-taxable to the supporting spouse. Child support is not taxable to the recipient nor deductible by the payor and that is why alimony is determined first and then factored into the child support guidelines.
Family court can be a very confusing and intimidating experience for the self-represented litigant, especially one who has little experience with the legal system. It is important that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to find out what your rights are and how to protect your interests.
You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.
Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.
Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
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