Child Support and Alimony

Is alimony different from child support?

The answer is yes. Child support is a certain amount of money paid each month from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to support the needs of the child. child support calculations are derived by subtracting various incomes from the obligor’s gross income and then determined by the court. Alimony on the other hand is comparable to “spouse-support” and is meant to be paid to the lower income spouse for living expenses. While child support amount is mostly determined by the child support law statutes, child support alimony is in the discretion of the judge.

How is alimony determined?

Judges, of course, must carefully consider all the circumstances governing each specific case. While aspects that affect alimony and child support differ from state to state, the statutes are not too much different. Common factors include:

  • Ability to earn money
  • Present and future perspectives
  • Age
  • Health
  • Length of marriage
  • Property owned
  • Conduct of parties

Generally, judges will award alimony only then if one spouse has been financially dependent on the other spouse for the greater part of the marriage in order to stay home with the children, due to illness, etc.

Alimony and taxes

Alimony is, contrary to child support, tax deductible to the paying ex-spouse. At the same time, alimony is included in the taxable income of the person who receives it. This means that it may be highly advantageous for two separating spouses to use alimony. Depending on the nature of the divorce, spouses can come to mutual agreements and create a favorable tax situation for both if alimony is considered.

Are you currently in an alimony battle?  If so, contact one of our child support attorneys that has knowledge about alimony in your area today!

Awarding alimony

If alimony is awarded to one spouse, it can be done as follows:

Permanent alimony is paid either until the person paying dies or until the person receiving it remarries. In certain cases there is the “cohabitation” clause, which ends alimony when the receiving person decides to cohabit with someone else.

Lump sum

Lump sum alimony is one payment in contrast to common periodic payments, which are made on a weekly or monthly basis.

Temporary alimony usually lasts for about one to two years. Temporary alimony is awarded usually then when both parties have equal income, but due to certain current hardships one person needs financial assistance to gain ground again.

Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type of awarded alimony. In this case, the recipient is younger and eventually able to become financially self-supporting.

If you have any questions regarding alimony or if you are currently in the midst of a divorce and alimony is an issue, don't hesitate to contact us. Our attorneys specialize in divorce and alimony cases and can provide important information that might be applicable to your case. For any questions or assistance, feel free to contact our child support attorneys for assistance with your alimony dispute today!

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