In family law,
child support is one of the first topics that client will inquire about. Obviously,
for a party to receive child support, there must be at least one minor
child of the
marriage or relationship. However, separate and apart from child support, where
two people are getting a divorce, one of the parties may be entitled to
spousal support, regardless of whether the parties had any children together.
Sometimes also referred to as alimony, spousal support is intended to maintain
the supported party at a lifestyle similar to that experienced during
the marriage. At least in theory.
When before one household was maintained, and now there are two, the same
amount of money needs to stretch farther than it did before. After all,
there used to be only one rent payment (or mortgage) but when the parties
have separated and live in separate houses, there are suddenly two rents
or mortgages to pay.
Achieving the standard of living during the marriage via spousal support
is often more of a goal than it is a reality. The taxable nature of spousal
support can further decrease the amount of money that is available at
the end of the day. However, the policy behind spousal support is a good
one: to ensure that both parties are able to survive as they move forward
with their lives.