Mother Does Not Want To Work

Question:

My friend and his wife have split up – they have two children, both under the age of 10. My friend’s wife does not have a job and has never been able to last more than two months at a job. She was evicted from her apartment because she couldn’t pay the rent so she moved in with a relative. She has been telling everyone that she has no plans of getting a job because she was going to get her husband to pay for rent, her car (which has not yet been repossessed probably because her mother is giving her money to pay for it), and everything else. I know California is a no fault state but my friend is leaving her because she has been unfaithful very many times throughout their union. She doesn’t have money to spend on her kids yet she smokes, drinks and has had numerous tattoos and piercing done since my friend left her. Will he have to pay alimony? I know he has to pay child support but can’t the court make them share the expenses of their children – especially since she gets free day care from her mother, who doesn’t work either. Please advise. Thanks.

Answer:

Every state will have varied laws regarding spousal and child support. Since I am not licensed in California it is important to also consult an attorney who is. As you know, your friend will be obligated to pay support for his children. The amount will depend on the custody arrangement. Wife’s income may be a factor if California uses an income share model to calculate support. If this is the case, then income can be imputed to her based on what she should be making not what she is actually making. States vary greatly on the award of alimony. The court may factor in her ability to work and earning potential in determining the amount of spousal alimony.
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