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The Difference Between Alimony and Child Support

When a marriage ends, and two people separate, it can be an emotional time for all involved, especially when it comes to money and financial support. In most cases, alimony and child support are two obligations that arise in a divorce case. Although they are both monetary payments that one spouse pays to the other, they serve different purposes and are determined by various factors. 

From the team at Bauer & Karch Law Group, here are the main differences between alimony and child support.

1. Purpose

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment made by one spouse to the other after a divorce. This payment is intended to provide financial assistance when one spouse may not have the same earning capacity as the other or to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. On the other hand, child support is a payment made by one parent to the other for the care and needs of their children. It is intended to ensure the children’s financial well-being and to provide general support for their upbringing.

2. Duration

The duration of alimony payments is usually longer than child support payments, which typically end when the child reaches the age of majority or graduates from high school. Alimony can last several years and may continue indefinitely in certain cases, such as long-term marriages or if the receiving spouse is disabled.

3. Determination

The determination of alimony payments and child support payments is also different. The factors used to establish alimony payments include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning capacity, the lifestyle and standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and the age and health of each spouse. Child support payments, on the other hand, are determined by the number of children, the needs of those children, and the income of both parents.

4. Modification

Both alimony and child support payments can be modified, but the process and rules are different. Alimony payments can be adjusted if there is a change in circumstances, such as loss of employment, illness, or a change in marital status. Child support payments can also be modified if there is an increase or decrease in income or a change in the child’s needs.

5. Tax Implications

Another difference between alimony and child support is the tax implications. Alimony payments are considered taxable income for the recipient, and the payer can deduct them from their income taxes. Conversely, child support payments are not taxable income and cannot be deducted from taxes.

If you need a child support lawyer in New Jersey, turn to the family law attorneys at Bauer & Karch Law Group, LLC.

At Bauer & Karch Law Group, LLC, our team is here to guide and support you through every step of the child support process. Our experienced attorneys understand New Jersey’s child support laws and will work hard to ensure your children have the appropriate financial support to guarantee their overall well-being.

Give us a call at 908-236-8204 to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.