If my unemployed wife is awarded one of the cars in our divorce and I pay for that car, will that payment amount be deducted from any possible alimony or child support orders?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
A support order, if agreed to outside of court, can be structured in any way that the parties agree. So if you wanted to keep paying the car payments, you certainly are able to.
The court will take into account any direct payments you are making on your wife’s behalf and lower your support order proportionately.
The amount paid would not necessarily be equal a dollar for dollar reduction in your support order; it would be reduced proportionately based on your respective income percentage.
Be advised that there are different forms of support that you may or may not be liable for.
The first type of support is child support. This is support for your children and, where I practice, the monthly amount of child support is guidelines based, meaning the calculation takes into account your income, your spouse’s income, and the parenting time schedule.
Based on these factors, a base child support number is generated. There can be deviations from this base number for such things are extracurricular activities, private school, etc.
There is also spousal support, which is support for the dependent spouse. With spousal support, a divorce does not need to be filed; a separation will suffice.
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Another difference is that there are also entitlement defenses to the receipt of spousal support.
A major entitlement defense is if the party seeking support committed adultery, at least in my state. Typically, the courts will not allow spousal support in this situation, as they do not want the party seeking support to benefit from their bad acts.
Another factor to take into consideration with support orders is the ability of the person seeking support to have an earning capacity.
Earning capacity is the amount of a money a person could reasonably be considered to earn based on their age, health, education, and past work history.
Since your wife is not working now, she does not have an income. However, this does not prevent you from arguing that she may have an earning capacity.
If the court deems that your wife does have an earning capacity, any support order that you would be obligated to pay could be reduced based on her earning capacity.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.