Do Courts Factor in Household Expenses Before Awarding Child and Spousal Support?

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Do the court take into consideration all of the expenses, like house, car, gas, electric, water, and food, before awarding child and spousal support?


Arkansas attorney Giana M. Messore

I have not been retained as your attorney so I cannot give you legal advice. However, I can offer some general information that may help you.

In the state that I am licensed to practice in, Arkansas, when determining child support, the court will make the decision based on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children. The state has a chart that tells the court how just much a non-custodial parent is to pay based on their income and the number of children. The court should also take into account if the noncustodial parent is caring for other children that are not subject of the current custody action. If your state is like Arkansas, the court does have the option of not following the chart; however, the court needs to specifically state in its order why it is deviating from the chart for it to be valid.

For spousal support, the primary factors to be considered in making any spousal support award is the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay. The following are secondary factors that the court will consider: (1) financial circumstances of both parties; (2) the couple’s past standard of living; (3) the amount and nature of the parties’ current and anticipated incomes; (4) the extent and nature of each person’s resources and assets; (5) the amount of income of each party that is spendable; (6) the health condition and medical needs of each party; (7) the duration of the marriage; (8) the amount of any child support award; and (9) the earning ability and capacity of each party. Additionally in my state, the trial court may consider in their decision on whether to award spousal support, additional factors based in light of the particular factors of the individual case.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in Arkansas and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Arkansas divorce lawyer Giana M. Messore, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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