What is the best way to handle the financial aspects of a divorce?

Additional Information:

My husband moved out of our Southborough home almost 18 months ago.  We are on good terms with one another and have an agreed up on schedule for time with the kids. He currently pays for daycare for our youngest, but I think he should contribute more to kid-related expenses.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Your question is initially a very broad one.  However, you specifically mention that your husband moved out of your home about 1 ½ years ago and that, although he pays for daycare, you want him to contribute more to child related expenses.

I would need additional information about your and your husband’s income to do a proper analysis.  For example, if your husband makes substantially more than you do and you are unable to pay all the expenses related to the Southborough home, then a Court may enter a Temporary Order that your husband contribute towards the expenses.  Or, the Court may order that your husband pay you alimony if there is a need by you and he has the ability to pay (again, this might be the case if there is a substantial difference in your relative incomes).

Regarding the child related expenses, does your husband pay you child support or is his only contribution the payment of daycare?  If you have primary physical custody of the children (i.e., they live mostly with you), then he should pay you child support.  In Massachusetts, there is what is called the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) which controls what an obligor would pay.  There’s a formula and that formula takes into consideration what the parents’ incomes are, who pays for health insurance, who pays for daycare, etc.  So, your husband would get a credit for what he pays in daycare expenses and his child support obligation would be reduced somewhat, but not in the same amount that he pays in daycare (it would be less).  If you share the children almost equally, then there still may be a child support obligation.  Two Guidelines would be calculated (one with you paying him and one with him paying you) and the person who earns the most would pay the difference in the two calculations.

Additionally, it is common for parents to share equally in the children’s extracurricular activities and college expenses, but that it certainly not set in stone.

I am not sure what other financial issues you might have.  For example, do you have retirement accounts?  Debts? Other property?  Please contact our office if you would like one of our experienced attorneys to assist you with your divorce and financial matters.

The Southborough Divorce and Family Law Attorneys at Leone Law Offices represent clients throughout Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Metrowest region including Southborough and the neighboring communities including: Framingham, Marlborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Natick, Sherborn, Holliston and Ashland.

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