Do I Need Child Support or Spousal Support?
Divorce laws vary by state, if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on your own, a judge will follow the state’s child support guidelines and determine the financial resources that you will receive if you are the custodial parent. For example, in Pennsylvania and Florida, the child support guidelines include these and other factors: the age of the children, the parents’ income, the cost of childcare, health and dental insurance, and the number of dependent children. Keep in mind that your respective contributions to college expenses will also need to be addressed in the divorce settlement agreement.
Spousal support is available in cases where one spouse needs support and the other spouse has the ability to pay it. Overall, this issue is probably the most contested issue in divorce cases. Generally, the court can award alimony in a lump sum or periodic payments.
There are “calculators” that will help estimate child and spousal support through the use of a computer program. You should ask your family-law attorney or CFP® / CDFA™ to give you an estimate as to what your child and spousal support payment, if any, will be.