What You Need To Know About Alimony And Child Support In A Divorce by Moses Wright
Alimony is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses. Some states refer to alimony as maintenance or spousal support. Each word refers to the same concept; one spouse providing funds to the other as part of a divorce agreement. Each state has different rules to determine how much support is paid. Alimony can be awarded for an indefinite or definite period of time. Alimony usually terminates upon remarriage of the recipient spouse.
Alimony is handled differently in the court than child support. Child support is determined by a mathematical formula used by the state for that purpose. This is a subjective process. It is a matter of determining the difference between what the custodial parent earns in relation to the income of the non-custodial parent and the needs of the child. Alimony is awarded at the discretion of the judge or by an agreement between the two parties to the divorce.
Another difference between child support and alimony is that child support is not tax deductible. Alimony payments are tax deductible to the party making the payments. Alimony must be claimed as income by the recipient party. Child support does not need to be claimed as income for tax purposes.
There are several factors a judge considers when deciding whether or not to grant alimony. Generally, courts consider the standard of living of the parties that was established during the marriage, and the circumstances of the case and of the parties. The judge will consider whether the party who is getting the award lacks sufficient property and income to provide for his/her reasonable needs and whether the party paying the alimony has sufficient property and income to provide for the other's reasonable needs.
The court may also consider each spouse's earning potential. The age and health of the parties and the length of the marriage can be factors the court considers to determine whether or not alimony is appropriate and the amount awarded. In the past, the wife was almost always the recipient of spousal support, but gender is no longer a consideration. If you live in a fault-based state, some courts consider the fault of the parties when determining support.
Because in today's society both parties to a divorce are often employed and thus jointly supported their lifestyle, alimony has become somewhat of a rarity. Temporary spousal support is sometimes instituted at the time of separation. This may be used to give an unemployed or under-employed spouse time to become financially independent. Even if alimony is awarded, both spouses often have difficulty maintaining the lifestyle they had during the marriage.
About the Author
Moses Wright is a webmaster of Divorce Papers. More information on A Divorce With Children and Divorce And Money Issues can be found on his website. You are welcome to reprint this article if you keep the Content and live link intact.