The most common setup in a divorce is that whoever pays child support also pays alimony. This is because the way the court calculates the two is similar, and in most cases, the parent who has the children most of the time earns the least amount of money. According to The National Law Review, the court mainly will look at income when deciding spousal support amounts.
This is where child support may impact alimony. The court uses a specific formula to calculate child support. Furthermore, child support is a responsibility you have to your children. Alimony, on the other hand, is not given as high of a priority as child support. Therefore, the court typically figures the child support award first.
Factoring in expenses
Child support then becomes an expense for you that will come off your income and add to your former spouse’s income when calculating your incomes for spousal support. The court will also consider the other expenses related to raising the children, even those that you may not cover with your child support payments.
Leaving you enough
The court will not award alimony if your expenses are high enough that you will not have the extra money to pay. It wants you to be able to afford your obligations, such as child support and your own cost of living expenses. So, child support could impact alimony in this way as well. If your former spouse gets a large support award for the children that takes a large portion of your income, then the court may not award alimony.