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FAMILY LAW ARTICLES

September 2, 2020
Support Orders – Tenets of Law to Consider

When considering support orders, it’s essential to understand some of the basic tenets of the law. We want to discuss those first because many common support complaints come from a misunderstanding of those tenets. Those complaints are about both child support and spousal support, and they’re often along the lines of the person insisting they can’t afford their support obligation or pay the other spouse too much money.

While it might seem that way, the laws regarding this issue are stringent. The court wants to make sure children are adequately cared for and that both spouses can keep the same standard of living they had when they were married. Here’s what to consider when addressing support orders.

Both Spouses Have Complaints About Support Orders

While the spouse providing the support often complains about the requirement to pay, the spouse receiving the support may feel that they aren’t receiving enough help for their essentials. If they’ve moved out of the marital home, for example, they may have rent or other bills to pay that they didn’t have in the past. Trying to navigate those types of things, primarily if they haven’t worked in a while, isn’t always easy, convenient, or comfortable.

That can lead to many disagreements and court-based fights between spouses because one thinks they’re paying too much, and the other thinks they aren’t getting enough. Understanding the laws more clearly can help make it easier for both spouses to know that every action is fair for everyone, even if that may not always feel like it’s the case. It’s also worth mentioning that some of the “previous standards of living” concerns that a spouse might have aren’t going to sway the courts, as many factors are involved.

What Counts, When Setting Support Orders?

A spouse who has boats, RVs, exotic vacations, and all of those kinds of things might have to consider those for the amount of support that the court orders. It depends on the facts of the actual case and the specifics of the situation. Having a roof over their children’s heads, enough food to eat, and clean clothing to wear are the essential things a court will consider. 

But when it comes to divorce, where one spouse had very high earnings, and the other stayed home to raise the children, maintaining a similar standard of living for that spouse who stayed home may be required. There isn’t just one marital standard of living anymore, and both parties have the right to be close to their previous standard. That can be advantageous for some spouses but may be detrimental to those asked to pay support.

Reach out to Hartley Lamas Et Al. today, and let us help you address any concerns you have with support orders in your particular case. We’re here to help.

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