Why Would You Voluntarily Give Up Alimony Or Child Support?

Sometimes it is best for New Yorkers getting divorced to accept less alimony or child support than might be first calculated. Does that statement surprise you? It seems like a typical divorce financial settlement is about getting as much as possible from the ex, but it might be advantageous for one party to push one of those numbers down. The spouse isn’t really giving up money, but rather balancing alimony and child support payments.

In a typical NY no fault divorce, alimony and child support calculations are pretty straightforward. NY family law software makes the process easy as attorneys just have to enter information on income, custody, assets and such and then let the software do the work. At the end they have amounts that are considered fair to both parties in the divorce. So why would you want to change the numbers?

The first reason is that in a NY no fault divorce alimony affects child support. The amount of alimony agreed on changes the spouses’ respective incomes and therefore affects the child support calculations. As alimony goes up, child support goes down because the receiving spouse is expected to shoulder a greater amount of the child’s living expenses. The difference is not dollar for dollar, but instead child support goes down a fraction for every extra dollar of alimony.

Since the changes are unequal, it might seem like the best divorce financial settlement for the recipient is still the highest alimony possible. Sure child support will be a little lower, but the total amount received will be higher, right? Sort of. The problem is that in the eyes of the law–and the taxman–alimony and child support are not equal.

Child support for NY divorces is not considered income any more than food or clothing bought for the child would be. That means it is not subject to income tax. However alimony is considered income. The recipient must pay taxes on it and the payer gets a tax deduction for it.

Consider a case where NY family law software calculates $500 per month in alimony and $500 per month in child support. The payer might prefer to pay $1000 per month in alimony and $0 in child support for the tax deduction. The recipient might prefer an agreement that is all child support so the income is non-taxable. One spouse might budge on the dispute in return for some other concession.

Child support for NY divorces, or indeed divorces in any state, are not always simple spreadsheet calculations. That is why you need legal software programs that let the attorneys analyze different cases so they can come up with an agreement that is fair to both parties, and of course to the children involved.

Don’t settle for less than the best legal software for divorce and child support calculation. Try Easy Soft state-specific child support applications and see the advantages for yourself.