In family law no two words are mixed up more than alimony and child support. This case of tomayto tomahto has gone on long enough, so we wanted to clear the air.
Alimony and child support are two different legal terms, used for two different reasons. There’s also considerable differences when it comes to taxes, so make sure you know which one you’re paying.
What is Alimony?
Sometimes called spousal support, alimony is a payment made to a former spouse that allows both spouses to maintain a lifestyle similar to the lifestyle they had when they were married. The intended purpose of alimony isn’t to help children, it’s to help the former spouse. This happens when one party makes considerably more than the other spouse.
Alimony is usually tax deductible for the payer, and the receiver needs to claim the money they got from alimony on their taxes.
What is Child Support?
Child support was made to do what the name indicates, support the child. The party who spends less time with the children will usually pay child support to help pay for the child’s living expenses. Once the child reaches a certain age, the payments will stop.
Unfortunately for parents paying child support, there’s no tax advantages like there are are for alimony. Child support payments are not tax deductible, and they don’t need to be claimed on income taxes.
If you need help clarifying the terms of your divorce call the lawyers at Baysinger Henson Reimer & Cresswell.