When a couple decides their marriage is over, there may be a number of questions each person has that need some clarification. Divorce can be complex and Connecticut residents in this position need to know that all financial support isn’t the same, nor is it equal. For instance, there are significant differences between spousal support (alimony) and child support.

Essentially, spousal support is paid from one spouse to another after a divorce. Depending upon the financial situation of the couple, a judge may order support to be ongoing, for a specified amount of time or until the payee remarries. Spousal support is not automatically granted; one spouse must ask for it. 

Alimony is paid for the benefit of the spouse, while child support is paid for the benefit of the children. It is to be used for necessities like food, clothing, housing, health care and the like. As with spousal support, it is not considered to be tax deductible for the payor and the payee doesn’t have to declare it as taxable income. There are no IRS reporting requirements for receiving or making child support payments.

The differences between the two types of payments and their tax implications can be confusing. Talking to a Connecticut divorce attorney about alimony and child support payments may clarify some foggy areas. Even when a client has yet to initiate divorce proceedings, speaking to a lawyer may alleviate the stress that may be associated with the divorce process and all the issues that might go hand-in-hand with that process such as support payments — whether a client is a potential payor or a payee.