Can you adjust maintenance calculations if you are sharing custody 50/50?

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Can you adjust maintenance calculations if you are sharing custody 50/50?

I am trying to file the divorce papers without a lawyer. All are done but support/maintenance calculations. Since we agree to 50/50 custody, is the calculation adjusted on the dissolution forms by a percentage?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding calculating maintenance during a divorce.  While you stated that you have 50/50 custody of your child, that will not be a factor for calculating maintenance.  Spousal support and maintenance versus child support and child custody are two separate agreements.  Child custody and child support would be determined by the best interests of the child test, whereas spousal maintenance takes into account very different factors.

There are essentially three types of spousal maintenance:  permanent maintenance, temporary maintenance, and rehabilitative maintenance.  When a judge awards maintenance, the following factors are usually considered:  the property owned by each party (including non-marital property), the income of each party, the standard of living established during the marriage, time it will take for the respective party to seek employment, duration of the marriage, the physical and emotional health of the parties, any valid, legally binding agreements of the parties (such as a prenuptial agreement), the present and future earning capacity of the parties, the financial needs of each party, and any other factor the judge deems relevant.  Also, these factors may change and either party can seek a modification of the order with the court.

Since there are a number of factors to consider, it cannot be said exactly what payments amount are equitable unless determined by a judge that handles these matters on a regular basis.  Also, if the maintenance is not court-ordered, a party is not liable for not making payments.  You may find it helpful to contact a family law attorney to assist you with a maintenance schedule.


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