If you need to file for child support or spousal support, you may be wondering how in the world you go about getting the process started. Certainly, the last thing you want to do is go to your spouse to talk to them about it, and in this case, you don’t have to. But there is information that will help you navigate through this.
The amount and type of support that spouses and children receive varies across the US. The application procedures also differ. The best guide is your divorce attorney. You can fill out the paperwork online, but forms may not be user-friendly. There are many different factors to work out when you’re getting divorced, and child support and spousal support is an important one. Your lawyer will know the rules for your state and the information that you will need to fill out. In short, they can make sure that you receive the support you deserve.
Necessary Information to Provide
State’s policies differ; however, there is typical information to provide to calculate spousal and child support. Your attorney can help you collect this information from your spouse if they don’t deliver it.
Standard items for spousal support include:
- Both party’s employment history, current status, and income
- Any supplemental income and investments either party has
- The length of your marriage
- Both spouses monetary and non-monetary contributions
- The reason for the divorce (for “at fault” in states that have at-fault divorces)
To calculate child support, you generally need the financial data listed above and:
- The names and ages of your children
- Whether they are enrolled in a secondary institution
- How much you each pay for insurance for your children
- How much you each pay for daycare for your children
- What custody arrangements are
- Whether child support is a factor for children from other marriages for either of you
Type of Support Given
While details fluctuate by state, what is covered by child support is pretty consistent. Custodial parents purchase items like groceries, clothing, school supplies, and a percentage of all medical bills with child support funds. Other expenses are split between parents, usually on a ratio decided by the child support calculations. For example, the spouse paying child support might pay 65% of an extracurricular activity.
The early days of paying and receiving child support can be confusing and stressful. However, both parents will end up understanding how the system works and adapting to it. If you are currently in the process of setting up your spousal support and child support, contact a lawyer to have them help you. They will work with you to make sure that it’s done correctly.