Alimony vs Child Support: What Are the Differences?
Ignore is bliss, right?
Not when it comes to divorce.
If you and your spouse are considering splitting up, one of the best defenses you can have is knowledge—especially when it comes to the various financial concerns. From child support to alimony and everything between, education is one of the best ways to smartly prepare for what’s to come.
This leads us to the conversation of alimony vs child support. Whether you’re intending to be the giver or the receiver, it’s important to know where you stand.
Keep reading for our child support and alimony guide.
What Is Alimony?
The main difference between alimony and child support is who benefits from the payment.
In the case of alimony, the payment goes to the ex-spouse.
Alimony, also called spousal support, is when one spouse sends the other monthly payments post-divorce. Alimony must be granted by a judge and can last for a specific period or until the receiving spouse remarries or passes away. The intention of alimony is for the spouse receiving payment to live a similar lifestyle to the one they did while married.
Factors That Affect Alimony
Alimony is not granted automatically but must be asked for and approved by a judge.
The amount paid each month varies based on several factors, such as:
- What job (or lack of) each spouse has, and their income
- The age of each spouse
- How long the two were married
- What the cost of living is for the receiving spouse
Often, a judge determines alimony payments based on the payer’s employment.
For example, if the spouse paying alimony loses their job, the judge can scale the payment back. Alternatively, if the paying spouse gets a higher-paying job, their alimony payment might increase, too.
Those receiving alimony often have to claim the payment as taxable income, whereas those paying it can deduct the payment from their taxes.
What Is Child Support?
In the case of child support, the person(s) benefiting from the payment are the child(ren).
Another big difference between alimony vs child support is that the parents of the child don’t have to be previously married for child support to be granted. Two people can have a child without ever marrying, and one of the two might still have to pay child support.
The person who most often pays child support is the non-custodial parent. In many cases, that’s the father, but in some instances, mothers pay child support to the custodial father. Either way, both parents still have to support the child and fulfill a parent’s responsibility.
Child support lasts until the child is no longer a minor, aka 18 years of age.
The amount of child support paid is determined by the court and considers factors like custody, the child’s standard of living pre-divorce (in the case of married parents), the non-custodial parent’s employment, the child’s needs, and more.
Alimony vs Child Support: Key Differences Explained
Now that you know the distinction between these two financial terms, you’ll be better equipped to handle your case.
When it comes to alimony vs child support, it’s all about who’s receiving the payment—the spouse or the child.
For more in-depth information regarding either, it helps to talk to an experienced lawyer. They can help you navigate your situation, answer any questions, and ensure fairness.
Click here to schedule a consultation with Crosson Richettti & Daigle today. Remember, knowledge is power.