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AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 512
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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How do i determine alimony and child support in my

Customer Question

how do i determine alimony and child support in my situation?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

Determining alimony is not easy, and is determined by the court. Child support is a little more straight forward. In the vast majority of states, alimony is determined using a loose formula or algorithm in which the earnings of the primary earning spouse are taken into account and offset relative to the length of marriage and the division of property (and assumption of debt with joint debts). In short, this is made on a case by case basis relative to the particular facts of the case. This amount can change relative to the amount of child support that is required as well.

Child support is typically much more straight forward. It is typically a percentage of the earnings of the provider of child support based on their net income. The percentage of earnings taken for child support is determined based n the number of children to be supported. Each state has its own guidelines set in statute for what that percentage will be, or how much will be paid.

The percentage of income that is required to be paid in child support goes up with the number of children that are to be supported. For instance, if only one child, it may only be 15% of the income. If there are two, it may be 20%. If three or more, it may be 30 to 35%. This depends on the state.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. Please also rate my answer positively (THREE OR MORE STARS) on the ratings bar on your end so that I can receive credit for my response.

Thank you and best wishes!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Are you able to be any more specific with the info below? I've gotten generals before and really need to zero in on what to put into the decree.
My husband makes 5k a month. I make 2500k a month.
3 kids - 16, 11, & 4
Married 20 years.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 3 months ago.

What state are you living in?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We are all in Utah.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 3 months ago.

Hi, My name is Heather. I'm not trying to step on any toes, but I am an attorney licensed in the State of Utah and I can give you the specific answers that you are in need of. While the prior expert is right that child support in some states is calculated as a percentage of the parties' income, in the State of Utah, that is NOT the case. In Utah, the state uses a child support table and you have to input the numbers into a child support worksheet. It is NOT a percentage of income. You can find a Utah child support calculator here:

You need to insert your income, your ex's income, and state how many children. Then, the proper child support amount will be pulled from the child support tables. If you make $2,500 per month, your husband makes $5,000 a month, and there are 3 children, his monthly child support would be: $1,085 and your monthly child support would be $542. The parent awarded custody would pay the amount I stated to the other parent.

Do you have any other questions that I can assist you with?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you so much for the specifics. Can you help me on alimony at all?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 3 months ago.

Yes, in the State of Utah, alimony is calculated using a three step process. First, the court will evaluate your needs. To determine this, you need to make a monthly expense sheet, which is basically like a budget, that lists amounts for each of your necessary expenses, such as rent, food, entertainment, utilities, car payment, gas, tithing, etc. Let's say, for example, that your monthly needs are $4,500 and that includes yourself and your kids. Then, the court will look at your ability to support yourself. Let's say that you can earn $2,500, and you also receive the child support I stated previously in the amount of $1,085, which means that you will have $3,585 in income. That means you are short about $1,000 every month.

Now, the court will look at your husband. Let's say he earns $5,000 and his expenses are $2,000, he pays child support of $1,085. That means he has $2,000 extra per month (approx.). That means he has the "ABILITY TO PAY" you what you need - which is approx $1,000 per month in alimony.

I hope that is helpful.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you soooooo much!
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 3 months ago.

Your welcome. Please let me know if I have answered your question, and if you could issue a positive rating, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for using! And feel free to request me, Heather in Utah for any further questions you may have in future threads.