Difference between alimony and child support in New York

Oddly, every New York resident knows someone who has been through a divorce. It’s entirely different going through a divorce yourself, though, especially if you have a family. You, or your spouse, may be required to pay child support or alimony as part of your financial settlement.

The basics of splitting assets

A divorce usually requires an equitable division of all joint assets and income. Equitable doesn’t necessarily mean equal, however, and will look different based on whether or not you have a family.

Here’s an example: After reviewing the finances of both parties, the court determines that a spouse who gave up their career to take care of the home and children will be financially harmed by the divorce. In that case, the judge may order a form of spousal maintenance to help that person with the transition.

Difference between alimony and child support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the money paid to a spouse after the divorce is finalized, to help them recover financially. Alimony would end as soon as your ex remarries or their financial situation improves dramatically.

Child support is the money paid to a spouse to care for their children. Child support doesn’t end until the child turns 18, regardless of whether your ex-spouse remarried or got a better-paying job.

How much will you pay?

How much you pay depends entirely on the circumstances of your divorce. Often, how much you pay will be determined by how much you make and how much your ex-spouse needs for themselves or your children.

You may sometimes be ordered to pay alimony and child support simultaneously. The court looks at all factors impacting the finances of both parties, as well as the needs of the children. While the court will try to make a fair, equitable decision, it will also prioritize the best interests of the child above the interests of the parent.