What is the Difference Between Alimony (Spousal Maintenance) Payments and Child Support?

David P. Badanes, Esq.

Alimony There is a significant difference between alimony (spousal maintenance) payments and child support payments. The amount of child support is typically determined by a formula and is based on your income. For most parents, the amount of child support that you have to pay is not significantly altered by the amount of income that your ex-spouse earns.

In contrast, the amount of alimony you may have to pay is not determined by a formula. Furthermore, the amount of alimony you pay will absolutely depend on how much income your ex-spouse earns (or could earn).

In New York, child support typically ends when the youngest child turns 21 years of age. In theory, you could pay alimony until your ex-spouse dies, although, the length of time you have to pay alimony is based on many factors.

Child support payments, whether paid or received, is not considered income. Accordingly, there are no tax consequences to the payment or the receipt of child support payments.

Alimony payments are considered income and must be declared on your income taxes. If you make alimony payments, you can deduct the amount you pay from your income.

If you are getting divorced and need more information about child support and alimony (spousal maintenance) and what your legal rights are, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. We have helped numerous individuals with their divorce. Call 631-239-1702, or contact us today. The Badanes Law Office has two offices in Long Island: Northport and Garden City.

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