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Common Questions About Support Payments

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Many divorces involve an agreement for one of the individuals to provide continuing financial support for their former partner. Child support payments are the most common kind of support, but not the only kind.

How is Support Determined?

The amount of financial support a spouse can get involves doing some math to determine how much money the other partner owes in monthly support payments. The calculations depend on a number of variables including custody of children, but earning ability is the main factor.

Are Spousal Support and Alimony the Same?

Spousal support is another name for alimony. Both terms cover spousal support payments and child support payments.

How is Child Support Calculated?

When there are minor children involved the custodial parent almost always is awarded some level of financial support from the other spouse. The amount will be determined by that person’s earning power, so if the person who technically owes child support has a low income, there might be little or no child support awarded.

Are There Different Types of Alimony?

Many divorces end with one spouse being owed alimony for an indefinite amount of time, but there is also something called durational alimony. What is durational alimony? You can read more about it on the linked page, but in short, durational alimony lasts for a specific number of years.

When is Alimony Normally Awarded?

While it may seem like any divorce can lead to alimony being owed, this is not true. While the calculation can be a little bit complicated, the basic rule for alimony is not. A spouse who has vastly more earning power may end up being required to pay “support” or “maintenance” to their former partner. If the conditions under which alimony was awarded change, then the court may end it or reduce it. For example, if the individual remarries or secures a high-paying job, so their earning power is closer to their former spouse, the court may end the alimony payments.