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Do I Have to Pay Alimony if I Already Pay Child Support?

 Posted on April 16, 2024 in Child Support

Naperville, IL divorce lawyerIt is often necessary in a divorce for one spouse to financially support the other spouse to a certain extent. This financial support is called family maintenance and includes both spousal support and child support. 

Child support and spousal support, also referred to as alimony, are two different payments. Illinois law may require each, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, one of the parties can be forced to make both payments.

This article will discuss when you might have to pay spousal support, child support, or both. It is best to check with a qualified divorce attorney to understand your specific case.

Do I Have to Pay Alimony?

As a general rule, if two people get divorced and only one of them is financially independent, he or she will likely be ordered to pay the other spouse alimony. This can also be the case if both spouses are financially independent but one is significantly more well-off than the other. 

Whenever there is a question about spousal support, a court will look at several factors, such as:

  • The annual income of both parties

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The standard of living during the marriage

  • Marital and non-marital assets

  • Parental responsibilities and parenting time

  • Each side’s financial needs

  • The earning potential of each spouse

A court will also decide how long the spousal support payments must be made. Some spouses must pay fixed maintenance, which is financial support for a specified period. There is indefinite maintenance, where the spouse must pay alimony indefinitely, and reviewable maintenance, which is where one spouse supports the other until a specified time, and then the arrangement is reviewed by the court.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

When two parents of minor children get divorced, one of them will likely have to pay child support to the other. But as with alimony, a court will consider several factors when determining who must pay child support and how much, such as:

  • The needs of the child

  • The income of each parent

  • Who has the majority of parenting time, or physical custody

  • The child’s physical and emotional condition

  • The child’s standard of living if the parents were to remain married

Do I Have to Pay for Both?

Based on the above factors, a court might find that you need to pay both alimony and child support. However, when calculating how much alimony you need to pay, the court will often take into account whether you are paying child support. If you are, the judge may deduct all or part of that amount from the spousal support.

Contact a Naperville, IL Family Lawyer

No guaranteed formula can tell you whether you will need to pay family maintenance or how much you will need to pay. The best way to understand how a court might judge your situation is to talk to a skilled DuPage County, Illinois family law attorney. The attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. can walk you through your options and help you achieve the best result possible. Call them at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation today.

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