Divorce – Alimony and Child Support when One Spouse Owns their Own Business
In many divorces in South Florida one spouse own their own business. These businesses are usually closely held corporations with a few or no other shareholders and thus the spouse can control how much money he or she takes. Alimony and child support amounts are determined based on the income of each spouse. Therefore, in a divorce if one spouse owns their own business they may be able to lower the amount of income to lower an alimony or child support obligation. If a spouse who owns their own business retains earnings in that business then the Court may or may not be able to use that income to assess alimony and child support. Many times a spouse will pay personal expenses out of the business. A court will consider the payment of personal expenses by the corporation as income to the parent or parents. In addition, husbands or wives seeking to lower their income can retain income in their closely held corporations claiming it is needed to run their business. If the court finds that the income is necessary to run the business then that money will not be considered for alimony or child support purposes. In examining whether the spouse is retaining the income to meet financial commitments, the Court will consider whether payments are necessary for vendors or employees as an example. If an attorney can prove the money is retained for business purposes the court cannot utilize that money in calculating alimony and child support. However, if a lawyer can prove that there are no real necessary reasons for the money to be retained then the income can be used for alimony and child support.
It requires a skilled lawyer in a divorce when one spouse owns their own business to establish alimony and child support amounts. If you have a divorce with alimony and child support where one spouse owns their own business call the lawyers at Filler Rodriguez LLP today 305.672.5007.