DEFINITION of 'Child Support'

The monetary payments that are made from one ex-spouse to another after divorce proceedings have been finalized. The terms of child support are usually finalized in the divorce decree, and the award is made by the court. Child support payments are usually made by the noncustodial parent to the one with custody of the child.

BREAKING DOWN 'Child Support'

Child support differs from alimony in that it is not tax deductible by the payer and tax-free to the recipient. Child support is only paid until a child reaches the age of majority, while alimony payments may continue. Failure to pay child support can result in imprisonment for the delinquent spouse.

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