Support paid by one ex-spouse for the support of the other is called spousal support. Spousal support can be awarded to both husbands and wives. Spousal support can be permanent, for a set time, for a time that will allow the supported spouse to become self-supporting, or a lump sum. A court can consider factors like the length of the marriage, the physical and emotional states of the spouses, the income and assets of both spouses, homemaking contributions, time needed for parenting, and whether one spouse helped the other to advance in a career.
After a divorce, both parents remain responsible for supporting the children. Divorcing parents need to decide how they will divide up the childcare expenses. There are several factors to consider in working this out, such as the income and assets of the parents and whether one parent has primary childcare responsibilities. Child support may have tax consequences.
If the parents can’t work this out cooperatively, the court will make the decisions and order the parents to comply. Child support is usually for minor children, but a court may order that a parent continue to pay support when a child is an adult if the child is attending school or is disabled or otherwise dependent.
If the circumstance of the parties change, such as an increase in income, loss of a job, or high medical costs for a child, the parties can go back to the court that made the original child support order to ask for a change. If a child becomes dependant on government funds, the government can enforce child support orders, so it’s important to have an order changed if a parent is unable to pay.