For many highly successful couples, issues of child support during divorce are complicated as both parents seek to give their child or children a similar standard of living between their homes. Historically, men were primarily responsible for child support, yet in recent years more women have been paying child support to their ex-spouses.
High earning women can no longer assume that they will not have to pay child support to their ex-spouses. Bethenny Frankel, of various reality shows - such as "The Real Housewives of New York" and "Bethenny Ever After - has filed for divorce from her husband. In the filings, she is asking for child support and funds to cover medical bills for the couple's daughter.
While her ex-husband does well as a pharmaceutical sales executive, her income may dwarf what he earns. Frankel has not only starred in reality shows, but has a stake in Skinnygirl Cocktails, a line of shape wear at Macy's and a daytime talk show.
A request for child support does not guarantee the court will grant it. The court reviews the yearly earnings for each parent and custody arrangements when deciding support obligations. Assuming that Frankel earns more, she will likely have a hard time arguing that she needs additional support. She might even need to pay support herself.
Differentiation in earnings between spouses
When earnings are drastically different, child support allows both parents to provide for their children. When a woman makes a six-figure income in sales, she may need to make child support payments to her academic ex-husband who teaches at a community college.
In Missouri, the courts take a broad view of income and state law defines it as "a financial benefit of money received by a parent that could have a positive impact on the parent's ability to support the parent's child." Overtime, bonuses, capital gains and part-time secondary income can all be included in the calculations of gross income in appropriate circumstances.
What is considered has an impact on the support determination. For instance, if one parent worked part-time tutoring high school students that additional income is likely included if the parent regularly worked the part-time position in the three years preceding the parties split.
Making sure that the court has the correct information when setting support is very important, because it can be much more difficult to argue for a modification of child support in the future.
Past stereotypes that only men pay child support are no longer correct. The income of each party determines support obligations and it is becoming more common that women pay support to an ex. An experienced family law attorney can more fully explain how local courts reach child support calculations and assist you through the process.