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How alimony differs from child support in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | Alimony

When it comes to New Jersey family law, there are a lot of important concepts that people need to understand. Two of the most common are alimony and child support. Both are support payments typically paid by the same person, but each has its own set of unique rules.

Determination of payment

Child support payments in New Jersey are calculated using a specific formula that considers both parents’ income and the number of children involved. The amount of child support that is paid can also be modified if there is a change in circumstances, such as one parent losing their job. Alimony, on the other hand, is not calculated using a formula. Instead, it is up to the judge to decide how much should be paid and for how long based on factors like the length of the marriage and each spouse’s earning capacity.

Tax implications

Child support payments are not tax-deductible for the payer or taxable income for the receiving parent. Spousal support, however, is tax-deductible for the payer and taxable income for the recipient.


As we mentioned above, child support payments can be modified if there is a change in circumstances. Alimony, on the other hand, can only be modified if there is a specific provision in the divorce agreement that allows for it. If there is no provision, then the alimony payments cannot be adjusted, even if circumstances change.

Penalties for not paying

Failing to pay child support could lead to consequences like wage garnishment, loss of your driver’s license, or even jail time. With alimony, you can also be held in contempt of court and face similar penalties. In both cases, staying current on your payments is important to avoid any negative consequences.

It is essential to have a clear understanding of these concepts if you are going through a divorce or are dealing with any other family law issue. Your life and that of your children depend on how well these issues are settled.