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Alimony and child support explained

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Child Support, Family Law

Divorce brings with it many financial matters to address. Often, equitable asset distribution takes prominence in a Texas family court. Settlement negotiations may involve agreements on child support and alimony. Both payments share similarities, but differences exist.

Alimony and child support payments

Alimony is the commonly known name for spousal support, payments made to an ex-spouse to cover living and other expenses. Spousal support may sunset after a specific amount of time passes or with the spouse’s remarriage. Typically, spousal support assists an ex-spouse used to a particular budget, having relied on a former spouse for living expenses. A partner’s lack of earning potential could factor into a spousal support arrangement.

Child support covers the costs of a child’s essential care. Food, healthcare, and education expenses may factor into child support. While child support requirements may end when the child turns 18, it may be possible for the court to cover payments beyond that age to cover college tuition.

Negotiating alimony and child support

Although a judge has the final say on alimony and child support amounts, both parties may negotiate an agreement for mutually acceptable amounts. Both spouses may provide evidence that supports each other’s financial position. One spouse might provide a breakdown of living and other expenses, while the other spouse could provide proof of income to establish what he or she can pay.

Both parties may wish to review the tax laws related to support. Neither alimony nor child support is taxable nor tax-deductible, although the statutes regarding alimony were different in 2018 and prior.

Also, financial situations may change. Anyone struggling to pay child support or alimony could seek to modify the amount. Not paying anything without a modification approval could lead to legal troubles.