Does Alimony Affect Child Support?

A supported spouse, at the conclusion of his or her divorce, may be entitled to receive alimony.  Alimony will ultimately affect that person’s net income. Because of this, any alimony payment from one spouse to another, must be determined before any child support calculations can be done, as child support is calculated utilizing parent’s combined net incomes.

New Jersey utilizes a series of guidelines to calculate the appropriate amount of child support to be paid from one parent to the other. The child support guidelines compile all the necessary expenses for raising and caring for a child in the state of New Jersey. Those expenses include things such as shelter costs, food, clothing for the children, transportation costs, some entertainment costs, unreimbursed health care up to $250 per year per child, and miscellaneous items like, personal care products and services.  There are additional expenses which may be added to child support, such as child-care expenses, health insurance premium costs, tuition for children in private, parochial, or trade schools.

Each parent’s gross income, is entered into the guidelines, and will ultimately be reduced by taxes, necessary and required deductions (i.e. union dues and/or mandatory retirement contributions). Because alimony is now a net payment from one party to the other, that payment is also deducted and/or added to each parent’s net income. Ultimately, each parent has a “percentage share” of a total child support obligation, and who finally pays child support is determined by the amount of overnights each parent exercises with the children of the relationship.

Therefore, the payment of alimony may in fact lower the amount one parent pays to the other, because the net incomes between the parties are redistributed by that alimony payment.

Speaking with and retaining an experienced family law attorney on this issue is extremely important.  Please contact the offices of Shane and White, LLC to schedule a consultation to discuss how alimony may affect your family’s child support obligations.

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