The difference between child support and alimony is as follows, child support is granted for the support of the child. Any time there is a child involved child support will be analyzed and granted. Even in cases of joint physical custody where the parties have equal parenting time. Child support is established by looking at the Michigan child support guideline formula, and it is a formula. Alimony is granted only in certain cases where the court determines that one party needs additional support. Typically, this happens in cases where one party earns significantly more than another party. The court is supposed to look at 14 different factors and determine whether alimony is appropriate in any case. Alimony is one of the more difficult issues in any case and you need to contact an attorney to really discuss alimony and the particulars of your own case.