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The Difference Between Child Support and Alimony

Posted February 07, 2020 in Uncategorized

For those facing divorce, you may have many questions regarding child support and alimony. Whether you are the person who is receiving alimony or requesting it, chances are you will be curious as to the difference between the two and whether both can be requested during divorce. Alimony and child support serve very specific purposes. Understanding the difference between the two and the reasons they are beneficial can help determine whether they are considerations to make during your divorce. Taking the time to find a lawyer in your area that you can trust can be helpful in ensuring that you have obtained a legal professional who can keep your interests at the forefront. 

Child Support

Regardless of whether two parents are together or not, they have financial obligations to their children. Child support is intended to help with a child’s upkeep. Much of the time, the parent with physical custody of the child assumes a significant financial cost in caring for the children. It’s only natural that the other parent should help cover expenses by paying child support to the custodial parent. Child support provides for a number of expenses, including:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Education
  • Extra Curricular Activities
  • Healthcare
  • Daycare
  • +More

If you share children, there are a variety of reasons that you may want to consider requesting child support, including:

  • One parent has the child for more time than the other
  • To assist in covering the child’s expenses
  • To help maintain their standard of living after divorce
  • To provide your child with the care they need

When negotiating child support, the court will assess the child’s needs and the income of each parent to calculate child support payments. When negotiating child support, you will want to make sure that you hire a skilled and experienced child support lawyer for guidance. 


While child support is specifically allocated to support in caring for the children, alimony can help one spouse who is the lesser earner maintain their standard of living after divorce. This is often beneficial for the spouse who doesn’t work or makes significantly less money than their partner. If you are considering alimony, your lawyer can review your case and assist you with making a request with the court. Much of the time, alimony may be ordered until one party is able to get back on their feet again post divorce. However, it’s important to be aware that in some cases alimony may be ordered long term. The following are common reasons to consider alimony for yourself:

  • You stayed home to take care of the children while your partner worked out of the home
  • To maintain the lifestyle you had during the divorce
  • To give yourself time to recover from the divorce and obtain employment or gain the skills needed to return to the workforce
  • You have been out of the workforce for some time
  • You have a disability or medical condition that requires special care or impacts your ability to work

For more information about alimony and to learn whether this is right for you, contact a lawyer who can help you pursue this process. 

Choosing an Experienced Lawyer

Enduring the divorce process can be complicated and emotionally fueled. There can be a lot riding on divorce including the division of property, assets, agreements for child custody, child support and in some cases, alimony. With so much riding on a divorce, you will want to retain a lawyer in your area who is experienced and a good fit for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for a lawyer:

  • Conduct online research
  • Read reviews
  • Ask people you know for recommendations
  • Take the time to meet with a lawyer in person
  • Come prepared with questions for your first meeting

With so much riding on your divorce, the last thing you want is to end up with an incompetant lawyer or a professional who doesn’t seem like a fit for you. Taking the time to carefully locate a lawyer in your area can reduce the risk of this occurring. 

Have you and your spouse recently made the decision to file for divorce? Or, perhaps you are already engaged in the divorce process? To learn more about child support and alimony, contact a Bloomington family lawyer that you can rely on to provide you with the legal advocacy that you deserve. 

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and the difference between child support and alimony.


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