What are the differences between child and spousal support?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2021 | family law |

If you recently started the divorce process, you may worry about the costs associated with your breakup. Two of the most common costs of divorce happen to be spousal support and child support.

According to U.S. News, both couples may have difficulty with the differences between child and spousal support.

Spousal support explained

You may also hear spousal support referred to as alimony or maintenance. You pay spousal support to your former spouse. If your ex has a lower income, then you may have to pay for support. In general, the court looks at how long you and your partner remained married, your ages, your health and your ability to generate income. For example, if your partner gave up work experience to raise children and does not have an income of his or her own, you may have to pay alimony or spousal support.

Child support explained

If you are the non-primary caregiver, the court will typically order you to pay child support. The court considers income, tax status, number of children, health insurance and how much time you spend with your children to decide on the child support amount. Most children require child support in divorce cases.

You pay child support until your child becomes an adult or emancipated by the court. In some cases, child support continues past adulthood. Children with special needs have a higher likelihood of needing child support into adulthood.

When it comes to child support versus spousal support, the court will most likely limit spousal support. The purpose of any limits is for your spouse to work towards financial independence.