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How Long to Pay Alimony After Divorce

Divorce is challenging both emotionally and financially. Going through a proceeding involves drafting a settlement agreement that both you and your soon to be ex can agree upon. This process can be hard emotionally and financially. Families with children can experience even more stress.

A big factor that is involved in the settlement beside who gets to live with the children is the finances. As a spouse, you are required to make alimony payments if you do not get custody. You may wonder how long these payments must be made.

If you do not have children, you will make alimony payments. The details are entered into with your attorney. They will draw up the agreement to be as fair as it can be.

Child Support And Alimony Payments

There is a difference between child support and alimony payments. First, here is a look at the differences to help you understand more about them.

Alimony is one type of payment. Another is called palimony. Palimony is for people who lived together without getting married. For you, once you get divorced, you may have to pay alimony to your ex-spouse. This is usually only if you earn more than they do.

If you do, you may claim alimony as a deduction on your taxes. The person receiving it would need to report it as income. They need to pay taxes on what they receive. This is why a childless couple prefers to pay child support.

Child support will only be a part of the agreement if there are children. Those children cannot be older than 18 or 21. Child support is for the parent who has custody of the children. It is paid by the parent who does not have custody because they do not have as many expenses as the other partner regarding childcare.

Temporary Alimony

These payments can last up until the children are aged 21. Child support is not viewed as income. It becomes a tax deduction for the parent receiving the money. Taxes are one of the main reasons people pick child support instead of alimony. It is important not to use alimony as child support. The IRS could discover this and charge you for back taxes.

Alimony involving short marriages or those that went fewer than 10 years may only last for half the time of the length of the marriage. A divorce agreement for a couple married for six years would only be set up to pay alimony for three.

You may also be asked to pay temporary alimony. The spouse that earns more may have to pay this to the other spouse during the divorce. Once the divorce is completed, then regular alimony takes over. The amount of time it is paid depends on what is in the divorce agreement.

Most of the time alimony payments are made for the length of the divorce agreement. Child support payments must be paid until the children reach either the age of legal consent and legal adulthood which is 18 or 21 depending on the state. To know more visit the website at

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