Q: I am recently separated and I need to file for divorce.
I left my husband after 8 years of marriage and 11 affairs. I tried everything to fix my marriage including marriage counseling but it was irreparable. We split 50/50 custody of my 3 kids, (ages 12, 11 & 5) I don't receive any monetary help from him but I am struggling to make ends meet. Do I have a claim for spousal support or child support?
A: Whether or not you qualify for spousal or child support will depend on the facts of your case. Primarily, how much you earn versus how much he earns, whether or not you already waived your right to spousal support (in a pre-nuptial agreement which may or may not bar spousal support--you'll need a family law attorney to review it to see if you can set it aside if there is a waiver included). It also depends on the standard of living during the marriage. As for child support, if both parties are the parents of the children, you may be eligible for child support even with an equal timeshare if there is a large enough disparity in your incomes. You should contact a local Department of Child Support Services (they offer a lot of help for free and you can go on their website and use their support calculator to get an estimate of what kind of guideline support for which you may be eligible) or speak with a local Facilitator (also free to help run numbers but will not give out legal advice of any kind) at the courthouse to help you run support calculations and determine if factors support filing for spousal and/or child support. If you haven't already waived support, and the children are his and yours together, and there is a large disparity between your income and his, then you probably qualify for both. Hope this helps.
A: Yes you do. How much that will be depends on numerous statutory factors. For spousal support it depends in part on lifestyle during the marriage, the income of each party, incomes during the marriage and how much each spouse contributed to maintaining the lifestyle to which you became accustomed during the marriage. Child support is calculated using an algebraic formula that also takes into account each party's monthly income, minus certain deductions such as health insurance premiums or union dues, etc. and how much custodial time each parent has. Unfortunately, as California is a no-fault state, the extra marital affairs are irrelevant.
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