All About Alimony and Child Support

Alimony and child support can be confusing when people discuss separation and divorce. However, the two are very different. Alimony is money that one spouse gives to another during or after a separation. Child support is money that a spouse gives to another for the purposes of meeting their childrens’ needs. Both are determined by a number of factors and are decided on by a judge. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the processes associated with both of these family law facets.

All About Alimony and Child Support

What is Alimony

Alimony and child support are very different things. You can also call alimony “spousal support.” Alimony isn’t automatic, so you’ll need to ask for it if you feel like you deserve to get help from your ex. The purpose of it is to help you keep living a similar lifestyle to how you were living before your divorce. Alimony might come as a lump sum, a property division, or a monthly payment.

Deciding Alimony

Alimony and child support are both decided in court. One of the factors that a judge might consider is the amount of money that each spouse makes. Additionally, they’ll look at living expenses for both. The length of the marriage is also a factor sometimes. Finally, the way that you split assets in a divorce can affect alimony.

What is Child Support

Alimony and child support are mostly different because of the purpose of the money. A spouse gives alimony to keep the other spouse living the same way as before the split. However, child support is very different. As its name implies, you give child support to a spouse to help support your joint children. You can use child support for food, clothing, housing, schooling, or medical needs for the kids.

Deciding Child Support

Like alimony, child support is a court decision. Both of these facets of family law have similar factors at play. For example, a judge will look at incomes for both parents. They will also consider the way assets split in a divorce. Child support might last until your children are eighteen, or you could decide on a different time frame.

Alimony and child support are sometimes confusing but are very different concepts. Child support is money that a spouse pays to another to help support their children. Alimony is money that a spouse pays to help support their ex. Both should be decided on by a judge in court. Therefore, having a knowledgeable attorney guide you through the process is absolutely imperative.

Divorce Tax Changes: What To Know

Handling the financial side of divorce can be a difficult task. The recent divorce tax changes that are going into effect this year have now changed some key pieces of divorce financials around. Proper understanding of these new laws is key to help reduce the stress they might bring…

Divorce Tax Changes: What To Know

Alimony alterations 

Alimony payments used to be tax deductible for the person paying before these new divorce tax changes. These payments were also considered taxable income for the person receiving them. Going into 2019, however, this will no longer be the case. 

Due to these changes, alimony disputes could become more involved. Higher-income spouses may want to pay less alimony due to losing the tax deduction. On the other end, spouses may also fight for more alimony due to the money being able to go further. It’s important to keep these changes in mind when discussing potential alimony with your spouse. 

Modified agreements

If you had a divorce agreement in place before 2019, then the new tax laws won’t affect them. However, any new modifications you make going forward could be impacted by the divorce tax changes. If your modification falls within the new laws, then it will be subject to the new rules. If not, then the old rules still apply. Keep this in mind if you plan on making any potential modifications to an agreement.

Pre- and post-nuptials 

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are also potentially impacted by the new divorce tax changes. However, unlike with standard agreements, these new laws can potentially change or nullify items in these agreements. Make sure to double-check the terms and see if anything will be changed by the new laws. 

Dependent tax deductions

Starting in 2019, the $4,050 exemption you could claim for dependents is being removed. In its place, however, is an increase on the child tax credit from $1000 to $2000. This divorce tax change is especially important to keep in mind for couples with children. For single taxpayers, they’ll see an almost doubled standard deduction on their taxes. 

The financial side of divorce can be one of the more tricky to navigate. New changes in the law can complicate things even further. Understanding what aspects have changed will help to make sure nothing catches you off guard. 

How-To Keep Spending Small in Your Divorce: Save Money, Time, and Heartache with These Few Steps 

There’s no denying that a divorce is quite costly to both parties involved. So, what can we do to keep spending small when it comes to our divorce? If you can find a way to save your funds, divorce each other peacefully, and keep that bad taste out of your mouth— why not do so? It may sound idealistic on our end, but it is possible to make it through a divorce without your blood pressure going through the roof. With hard work, patience, and collaboration, you might just find that you two went through a model divorce… 

How-To Keep Spending Small in Your Divorce: Save Money, Time, and Heartache with These Few Steps 

Set a timeline, and commit to it 

A divorce is all about paperwork and deadlines. From figuring out child support, splitting assets, selling your family home, and closing up shop— it can take a while to work through. So, missing a deadline can make it take even longer. You two set a meeting? Stick to it, don’t put it off for any reason. Ultimately, that attorney isn’t there on his own free will— their time costs money. Be smart, efficient, reasonable, and timely in hitting your marks and providing any materials. 

Keep it business-like and efficient 

If you can check your emotions at the door, you’ll be sure to keep spending small, or at least smaller than they might have been. Sometimes, the way that we feel tends to influence our decision making. Maybe you noticed that your soon-to-be-ex has been going out with the boys, and now you’re angry so you want to go for more. Making changes to the agreement midway through, especially out of anger, can be counterproductive. Bringing those emotions into the mix is bad news, and can inevitably add to further costs.  Do yourself a favor and save money by saving time. 

Be flexible with one another 

Have expectations and wants when it comes to assets and splitting the load. But, be realistic and flexible about it. Consider making a list; a list of what is a necessity to you, and the things you’d like to have— but can give on. Consider that even the things you feel are a necessity, aren’t guaranteed, and the more time you spend worrying over those things and not giving on them— the more money you spend. Who knows, by the end of this whole thing (if you do it right) you might be able to replace what you gave up on. 

Alimony Options: Understanding Different Agreements 

If you are divorcing, and trying to determine what route your alimony payments will take— understand that there are options. While the court has the final say, you and your to-be former spouse can work through the options on your own as well. Alimony options for payment typically will vary depending on a few factors.

From income level, way of life before divorce, to who played homemaker and who played ‘breadwinner’. All of these things go into the consideration. But, before you go into this process— you should understand it. So, following, you will receive a quick run through of the 5 types of alimony and when they’re typically awarded. That way, you can begin to prepare for what may come.

Alimony Options: Understanding Different Alimony Agreements

What makes calculation methods differ?

First things first, this is extremely important to understand. There is often a bad taste left in the paying spouse’s mouth, but merely because they don’t understand. You worked for this money, sure, but so did your spouse by deciding to sacrifice their career in exchange for yours.

A few factors that can affect length of time, and amount:
  • Length of marriage
  • Length of separation
  • Income of both parties
  • Future income potential
Type 1: Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony means that the alimony payments decided upon will be paid out indefinitely. If you’re receiving permanent alimony payments, you will continue to receive them for your entire lifetime. There is the possibility of renegotiation in the case that, say, you remarry. But, barring this circumstance or a few similar ones— it is as it seems… permanent.

Type 2: Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony is an alimony option that one spouse receives during separation and before divorce. It can be used to cover daily expenses, court costs, divorce costs, and the like. This type of alimony is obviously temporary, but is typically the first step before you move to permanent alimony

Type 3: Reimbursement Alimony

Reimbursement alimony is typically goes to a spouse that, while in the relationship, was paying a personal cost for the other. Those personal costs could be to help pay educational costs, or even the cost of starting a business. This typically occurs when the assisting spouse never had the chance to reap any benefit of the receiving spouse’s business, education, etc.

Type 4: Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative is one of the alimony options that is use quite frequently. Rehabilitative alimony is basically there to provide financial support for the spouse that is not yet, but will be financially independent. This type of alimony is only for a specific amount of time, versus permanent alimony.

Type 5: Lump-Sum Alimony

Lump-sum alimony is typically an option that both spouses will agree upon. Instead of monthly installments the paying spouse will make a one time, lump-sum payment. Typically, this will occur if the receiving spouse wants to part ways with property of high-value items. You can find a more in-depth of this type of alimony here.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all for alimony

There are quite a few when it comes to alimony options. But, that’s because there are quite a few different situations when it comes to finances of divorce. You’ve spent years of your life supporting one another, and that doesn’t stop when your relationship does. We wish you luck in figuring out the route that works best for you from here— and we happily offer our services if you need them.

Alimony Payments: Why They’re Necessary 

If you’ve recently been ordered by the court to provide alimony payments, it likely left a bad taste in your mouth. Why are you responsible for paying your former spouses way? Why do they deserve your hard earned money? It’s not uncommon that the paying party feels slighted by these payments. But, we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t. Judges handle alimony and divorce proceedings every day, and while the system isn’t always perfect— there is a degree of exactness that goes into agreements such as these. So we’re going to help you understand.

Alimony Payments: Why They’re Necessary

Alimony is typically awarded to a spouse that earns less money, or carries more of the ‘family weight’ versus the financial weight. Typically, one parent will choose to stay home with the kids for a while. Ultimately, unless you have daily childcare, one parent must be there until the child starts school. In doing so, that parent is sacrificing their ability to get a job out in the world. Therefore, they are carrying the majority of the family weight, while the other spouse takes care of the financial weight.

Alimony payments allow for the parent who spent their time building a home, to find financial security

When you marry someone, ‘what’s mine is yours’ is typically the sentiment. When you start a life and family with someone, you understand that you’re both taking on important, yet different roles. But, if you go through divorce, it’s easy for you to misplace those emotions in exchange for anger. You might go from feeling as if you have shared earnings, to wanting to protect them.

By paying alimony, you’re helping your family— not your former spouse go shopping

Think of alimony as a means of keeping your family safe while you work it all out. Typically, you will receive alimony payments only for a specific amount of time. In some cases, you can even do an alimony buyout where you pay a lump sum— versus monthly installments. So, think of this as a time where you help your family grow. Your former spouse is part of your family too, and will always be if you have children together.

So, it’s important to understand the role that alimony payments are making in helping them prosper and gain the independence they sacrificed to build a home and a family for the both of you.

Intimacy During Divorce: The Implications

As you go through a divorce, it is not uncommon to begin exploring what else is out there. But, what you might now know is that, the implications of intimacy during divorce proceedings can have legal, as well as emotional repercussions depending on who you’re being intimate with and at what time. Understanding the consequences is very important to making the conscious decision whether to go forth, or abstain, from intimate acts until your divorce is finalized.

Intimacy during Divorce Proceedings: The Implications of Sexual Relations

Whether you’re considering relations with your almost-former spouse, or with someone completely new— there are a few things to keep in mind before you go forth. When it comes to a separated spouse, the emotional implications are much higher. When it comes to a new partner? The legal implications should definitely be a factor.

Intimacy With Your Separated Spouse

As we said, the emotional implications are much higher here. For instance, if you have children and they are aware of your divorce, it can be incredibly confusing to see dad or mom leaving the house early in the morning. you can imagine where their minds might go: mom and dad are getting back together, all of this is over, and so on. In short, it can give them (and you or your spouse) false hope about what’s to come.

It is also extremely confusing to one or both spouses. When you’re doing something so personal together, during a time that is so raw for you both, can cause a lot of problems. Often, at least one of the two spouses will become emotionally invested once again. The thing about divorce is that more often than not, they are not mutual. Usually, one person is coming to the other and saying “I want a divorce.” The other person is usually feeling at least some confusion and a multitude of feelings.

When you begin sleeping together again, it can cloud the way in which you proceed.

Lastly, when it comes to making decisions about how to proceed after you’ve been intimate, there is no easy way. Now that you are reengaged, the decisions you make are bound to be more emotional and cloudy. Especially if you in particular, are not feeling right about how you’ve left things. In short, having sexual relations with your to-be former spouse can cause a number of problems for you personally. Not to mention, your family, and your proceedings.

When it comes to intimacy with someone new, there are a lot of different things to figure out. From legal proceedings, to emotional decisions— there is a lot at stake. Find out more about it here.

Alimony Award in SC Divorce | Fort Mill Family Attorneys

When one party receives an alimony award, the other party can appeal. Usually, the appeal is because one party feels that the other side doesn’t need any extra money to live. So how does a court handle such a dispute? Sweeney v. Sweeney is a SC case where a court reviews an award of alimony to the wife.

alimony awardAlimony Award and Appeals

Since getting married in 1984, husband worked for a construction firm, and wife was a teacher. Consequently, the couple did well and collect a lot of marital assets. In addition, the two had three children. As a result, the wife did not return to work after their third child was born in 1995. Subsequently, after twenty-eight years of marriage, husband asked for a no-fault divorce. However, wife countered for a divorce based on adultery. Over two years later, the court granted divorce based on husband’s adultery. Furthermore, the judge ordered an alimony award of five thousand dollars per month in periodic permanent alimony. Therefore, husband appealed. Although husband argued the family court miscalculated wife’s income and monthly expenses, the court of appeals affirmed. Rather, it found the family court properly considered the factors. In addition, the court found sufficient evidence to support the alimony award.

Appealing an Alimony Award

If you feel that your ex-partner should not receive alimony, you can appeal. But make sure you have a good lawyer to guide you through the appeal process. Rather than try this on your own, hire an experienced Fort Mill family lawyer to fight for you in court. Otherwise, the court process can be intimidating and daunting. So let us take your worry and anxiety away and do our job. After all, this is what we do. While we can’t guarantee any particular result, we can promise our best efforts and hard work on your behalf. Call now for answers and sleep better tonight.