As a forensic and vocational expert, it is not uncommon to be called as an expert to opine about spousal support in a divorce. It’s been my experience that the court considers each spouse’s gross income and reduces this amount by subtracting mandatory deductions to determine net income. Mandatory deductions include income taxes, social security, and healthcare.
With younger children, this may mean awarding custody to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver. With older children, this may mean giving custody to the parent who is best able to foster continuity in education, neighborhood life, religious institutions, and peer relationships.