Alimony and child custody issues

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Marriage might end with a divorce, but it does not always bring the relationship to a conclusion. The financial obligations to each other, the children and other factors keep the spouses tied together. You would want to handle these issues as amicably as possible because they might affect you for your entire lifetime.

Alimony and child custody are two of such issues that ensure the marriage bond is not completely broken, like it or not. Divorce more often than not comes with financial obligations, usually from one party to the other. For this reason, learning some of the ins and outs of alimony and child support will save you a lot of stress.


The spouse who is more financially stable usually must pay spousal support to the other spouse following a divorce. This is based on the premise that the less financially stable spouse will need financial assistance.

The court determines alimony by examining actual needs on one hand and the other party's ability to earn on the other. Some of the other determining factors include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Earning potential of each spouse
  • Ages of their children
  • Standard of living of either parties during the marriage
  • The age, educational, physical, emotional and financial state and employability of both spouses
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
  • Whether the unwaged spouse is capable of working
  • Tax burden of paying or receiving alimony

In Florida, as per the statute, there are 4 types of alimony:

  • Bridge-the-gap
  • Rehabilitative
  • Permanent and
  • Durational alimony.

Alimony can be paid periodically, in lump or both ways.

Child Support

Child support is the financial assistance from one spouse to the other for the support of their children. It is based on the existence and rights of a child in the marriage, unlike alimony.

It is a given that parents have obligations to their children, obligations to provide education, food, clothing, shelter, and other vital necessities of life.

In Florida, certain factors are considered by the court to be able to raise or lower child support. In calculating child support, the court examines the total gross income of both parents and subtracts expenses, to arrive at the net income. The child support guidelines considers the number of children, as well as the net income of both parents.

The court considers the following factors:

  • Income of each parent
  • Employment status of the parents
  • Employment history of the spouses
  • Previous child support payments made for other children
  • The parent that will be responsible for the children as dependents for tax purposes.
  • Child care costs

In some cases, the judge can modify the child support under certain circumstances such as disability, age of the child, and the child's healthcare and childcare costs, and other extenuating circumstances.

As a general rule, alimony tends to lower child support paid by the payer as it reduces their income and increases the income of the recipient.

Alimony and child support issues can be quite complex and time consuming, and it is easy to be taken advantage of if you aren't aware of your rights. If you or a loved one is facing divorce, and potential alimony and child support appendages, please hire a skilled divorce attorney to work with you.

about our firm


Personal Injury, Family Lawyer & Divorce Attorney Steven L. Winig, Esq. of Winig Law is a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and is licensed to practice before all Florida State Courts, as well as the United States District Courts for Southern and Middle Florida. Winig Law routinely handles cases throughout Palm Beach County including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach and surrounding areas.

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