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Understanding child support and alimony

You may lose assets such as your California home, a car or a bank account in a divorce. In addition, you may be liable for alimony or child support payments depending on the length of the marriage and your spouse’s ability to work. It’s also possible that you will be entitled to alimony or child support depending on the circumstances of your divorce.

What is alimony?

Alimony is often referred to as spousal support as these payments are designed to help whoever stayed at home during the marriage maintain their lifestyle. Alternatively, payments may be made to whichever spouse has the lowest earning potential or fewest assets after a divorce is finalized. Alimony may be used for almost any purpose that a recipient sees fit.

What is child support?

Child support payments are designed to help cover expenses related to child care. For instance, they may be used to buy food, pay rent for a home that they share with you or for clothing. They may also be used to pay medical bills or other reasonable expenses that your child may incur after a divorce. Child support payments are typically calculated based on your income, the other parent’s income and other factors deemed relevant by the court.

Consequences for misusing funds

If you use child support payments for yourself, you may be required to reimburse your former spouse. However, it is sometimes permissible to use child support payments for a car or other items that you might use in an effort to provide for your child.

Child support and alimony payments may both help you maintain a reasonable lifestyle for yourself and your kids after a divorce. If necessary, child support or alimony orders may be modified if your financial circumstances change for any reason.

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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law
520 Warren Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-381-9591
Fax: 650-261-9650
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