Child and Spousal Support
When am I awarded Spousal Support and/or Child Support?
Is spousal support appropriate in our situation?
Spousal support is determined on a case-by-case basis. Courts may award spousal support in dissolution or legal separation actions. A spousal support award is broadly based on the parties’ standard of living during the marriage, the supported spouse’s needs and the supporting spouse’s ability to pay. The ultimate goal is for the supported spouse to become self-supporting.
Generally, a “reasonable time” in which the supported spouse should become self-supporting is half the length of the marriage, after the date of separation, except for marriages of long duration (i.e. 10 or more years). In marriages of long duration, the Courts have discretion in awarding spousal support.
Is child support appropriate in our situation?
Both parents have a statutory duty to support their minor children. This statutory duty to support a minor child continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years).
However, if the child is an unmarried 18-year old, full-time high school student, who is not self-supporting, the duty to support the child may continue until the child completes the 12th grade or reaches 19 years of age, whichever occurs first.