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I Want To Stay Home With My Kids After My Pasco County, Florida Divorce - Can I Receive Enough Alimony To Allow Me To Do This?

In many marriages, one spouse, typically the father, is the provider for the family, and the other spouse, typically the mother, stays at home with young children to care for them and does not earn an income. If the couple decides to divorce, in most cases that arrangement must change. The wife usually is forced to get a job and must make child care arrangements, such as daycare, for the children.

However, in some situations such as this when a divorce happens the mother (or father, if he is a stay at home parent) does not want to get a job. She may believe that the children are going through enough changes, and that to put them in daycare all day in addition to all the other changes going on at home would be damaging to them. The mother may argue that she could not make enough money to even cover the high costs of childcare, especially if several children are involved.

When calculating child support and alimony, courts take into account all economic factors at play, including each spouse’s income. If one spouse is capable of making more money than currently earned, the court may “impute” income to that spouse, which means pretending as if they are making that amount for purposes of the calculations, in order to make the alimony and child support award fairer. Imputed income is intended to prevent spouses from taking low-paying jobs in order to claim they don’t make enough to pay child support and alimony when they are capable of making a lot more money.

In Florida, divorce courts have the power to impute income to a spouse who is staying home with young children, but can also refrain from imputing income to that spouse. The court has discretion in that area. A husband may argue that his wife should get a job because a high-quality daycare is nearby that would do a good job with handling the children’s needs.

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