What Are the Differences Between Alimony and Child Support?

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While one person may pay both alimony and child support to the other spouse, the two are entirely different. The key distinction between the two is the person to whom the legal right belongs. For child support, while the parent receives the money, the legal right belongs to the child. For alimony, the legal right belongs to the spouse. Legally, a spouse can waive alimony, but they cannot waive child support. For that reason, oral side agreements between the parents about child support usually are not held up in court.

While both alimony and child support are based on income levels, alimony cannot be raised once granted. Child support can be subject to a modification based on changes in income. Alimony can be eliminated, either because the timeframe has expired or because a spouse has gotten remarried. The obligation to pay child support doesn’t end until after the child has turned 18 and graduated from high school.

For alimony, the receiving spouse uses the money to support themselves, using it without restriction. Child support must be used to provide for the child’s needs, although it can go to housing costs and other household expenses. In addition, alimony may be taxable depending on when the divorce agreement was finalized. The paying parent does not get a tax credit for child support, and the recipient does not need to declare it as income.

Georgia Divorce Lawyers

Alimony and child support can severely impact both spouses’ financial situations, and they should have legal counsel. Call Family Lawyers of Moffitt Law LLC at (762) 212-3951 or contact us online to discuss your case.

[RELATED POST]: How Many Years of Marriage Qualify You for Alimony?


How is child support set?

The amount of child support granted depends on each parent’s income as well as other factors.

Does a judge need to follow the Guidelines?

They usually will but can depart from them under certain circumstances.

Is alimony permanent?

It can be, but there are other types of alimony.

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