Child Support/Spousal Support
Let us help you secure fair support orders—and keep them that way
Whether you are the party receiving or paying support, securing a fair support order is extremely important. Parties receiving support want to ensure that their needs are met, while parties paying support want to avoid having such large obligations that their own quality of life suffers.
At The Law Offices of Alejo Lugo & Associates, we know how important your support orders are to you and your family. We have over 15 years of experience with all the vital activities surrounding support orders including:
- Securing support orders
- Petitioning for modifications
- Enforcing support orders
- Terminating support orders
We Help Keep Child Support Orders Fair
When parents are divorced or separated, or were never married, child support orders are needed to spell out how the parents will share the responsibility of paying for their child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, education, healthcare, etc.
While it is possible for parents to write their own child support agreements and then have them approved by a judge, in most cases child support will be determined by a judge based on the California Guideline Child Support Calculation Formula. This formula takes into account factors regarding the care of the child and the parents’ ability to pay, such as:
- Time that each parent has the child in their custody and control
- Gross income of each parent
- Tax filing status of each parent
- Child care costs
- Other mandatory expenses
The judge can adjust the results of the Guideline Calculation to fit the unique case. In order to ensure you receive the most advantageous adjustments in your case, it is imperative to hire a skilled child support lawyer. We can make sure the judge has all relevant information that they will need to issue a fair child support order.
If the child custody arrangement changes, or if either parent has significant changes in their income, a child support modification may be in order. We can help you petition for the necessary changes—or defend against unreasonable changes your child’s other parent may be asking for. We can also provide assistance with legal measures that may be needed if child support payments fall behind.
Get Comprehensive Help with Spousal Support Issues
When couples are married, one spouse often sacrifices their career to take on more responsibilities in the home. In the event of divorce or separation, this spouse may find it difficult to maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage without financial help from their ex. This is exactly what spousal support is designed to do.
In many cases, former spouses are able to agree on the amount of support that is needed on their own, and then have a judge sign the spousal support order when they get their divorce decree. However, in the case of a contested divorce where spouses cannot reach their own agreement, a judge will have to determine the amount and type of spousal support that should be paid. Factors affecting the amount of spousal support include:
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living while married
- Earning capacity of the spouse requesting support
- Other spouse’s ability to pay support
- Age and health of both spouses
- Division of assets and debts
- Custody arrangements for any children
- Any history of domestic violence towards a spouse or a child
- Existence of any pre-nuptial agreement
In most cases, spousal support will not be awarded for the supported spouse’s entire lifetime. Instead, the order will last as long as the judge deems is a reasonable amount of time for the low-earning or non-earning spouse to become self-supporting. Spousal support agreements can also be adjusted or terminated based on life events affecting either spouse. In order to do this, you have to petition for a modification.
At The Law Offices of Alejo Lugo & Associates, we understand the complex factors affecting spousal support. You can rely on us to help ensure your support order is calculated fairly. We can also help you understand when modifications may be appropriate and handle all the paperwork involved in seeking those modifications, as well as assist with enforcement when support is not paid on time.
Never Make a Support Agreement without Consulting an Attorney
If you are on good terms with your ex, it may seem like a good idea to just come up with your own child support and/or spousal support arrangement. However, in doing so, you could be unwittingly agreeing to provide way more support than you are responsible for or accept way less than you are entitled to. It is best to consult an experienced child support and spousal support attorney for help calculating support before you start discussing numbers with your ex. That way, you will be prepared to stand up for your rights and interests and avoid making an unfair agreement.
Call Now for a Consultation
If you are in need of an aggressive and effective child support lawyer or spousal support lawyer, please contact The Law Offices of Alejo Lugo & Associates at (800) 497-0018 now. We can provide an initial consultation in English or Spanish.