In the state of Rhode Island, an individual may be entitled to alimony and child support as part of a divorce settlement. However, it is important to understand that are many differences between these two forms of financial assistance. Understanding these differences may prevent you from potentially exposing yourself to monetary or other types of penalties.
What is alimony?
Alimony is another name for spousal support, and it is intended to help you maintain the lifestyle that you were accustomed to during your marriage. In some cases, spousal support will only be available for as long as it would reasonably take to finish school, find a job or otherwise take steps to support yourself. Any alimony payments that you do receive can generally be used to acquire anything that you want or need.
What is child support?
As the name suggests, child support payments are designed to be used for the benefit of a minor son or daughter. For instance, they may be used to buy clothes, food or other basics that a child needs to survive. They may also be used to pay for medical bills, educational expenses or other reasonable expenses related to caring for a son or daughter. Finally, it may be appropriate to use child support money to upgrade a home or make repairs to a family vehicle to ensure that your kid has a safe place to live or reliable transportation.
Ideally, you will gather as many financial documents as possible prior to filing for divorce. Doing so may make it easier to establish that you need alimony or child support payments as part of a financial settlement. Tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs may be among the documents that you’ll want to present during settlement talks or at trial.