Cary Alimony Lawyer

Family law issues are rarely easy. They can be emotional and stressful. However, when it comes to your ability to support yourself financially after a divorce, this already stressful situation can become overwhelming. That is why, if you are thinking about divorce and believe that alimony might be on the table, it is important to reach out to an experienced Cary alimony lawyer as soon as possible.

When you work with a skilled alimony attorney, they are able to devote their attention to your unique situation, make sure your needs and expectations are met throughout the process, and fight for your desired results.

What Is Spousal Support?

Generally, spousal support is a payment from one spouse to another after a divorce to assist the spouse who either did not work during the marriage or earned much less. In North Carolina, there are two kinds of spousal support — post-separation support and alimony.

Post-separation support refers to short-term support given to the dependent spouse until a final order of alimony is entered. Basically, post-separation support is only a temporary solution and begins during the minimum 1 year separation period North Carolina requires before you are allowed to file for divorce. This support is usually paid out monthly by the supporting spouse and can include mortgage payments, medical coverage, or other essential payments the dependent spouse may require. However, once an award of alimony is entered, the post-separation support will stop automatically.

Alimony is a more permanent monetary support awarded to the dependent spouse for a specific period of time. However, this time period will often be dependent on several factors, including the length of time the couple was married. In some instances, it can even be paid for the life of the dependent spouse or for the life of the supporting spouse. Yet, no matter how long alimony is awarded, the supporting spouse paying alimony can always ask the Court to modify this award if circumstances substantially change, such as the dependent spouse’s needs decreasing or a change in employment for either spouse.

How Is Alimony Calculated?

In North Carolina, there is no formula for determining the amount or the duration of alimony. In general, for alimony to be awarded, a spouse must show the Court that they are a dependent spouse. If the spouses earn comparable incomes, then it is likely that the Court will find that neither is dependent, and alimony will not be awarded.

However, if one spouse earns substantially more than the other spouse, then alimony may be allowed. But this amount will depend on numerous factors, including:

  • The reasonable needs of the dependent spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • The ability of a spouse to pay alimony
  • The dependent’s spouse’s educational background
  • A spouse’s contribution to the marriage as a stay-at-home spouse
  • The age and the mental, physical, and emotional condition of each spouse
  • The type of property each spouse brought to the marriage
  • Whether a spouse contributed to the education, training, or increased the earning power of the other spouse
  • Whether there was any marital misconduct, such as cheating, abandonment, or drug and alcohol abuse, involved

Who Has To Pay Alimony?

When it comes to alimony, you and your spouse may decide by yourselves, as part of a separation agreement or in a Consent Order, if one of you is entitled to receive alimony payments. However, if you cannot come to an agreement on this matter, then you will need to go to Court and have them make the decision. At Triangle Smart Divorce, our first choice is never to let someone else make decisions about your life for you.

The Court will look into a spouse’s earnings and earning capacity to determine who is eligible for alimony, though some circumstances can make it quite clear who is responsible for paying this support. For instance, in North Carolina, if either spouse engaged in illicit sexual behavior during the marriage, which is defined as voluntary sexual or deviate sexual intercourse with a person other than the spouse, it can affect the alimony award. Basically, if there is cheating in your relationship and financial dependency, it could either trigger or negate alimony.

How does this work? Let’s say you are a dependent spouse who may otherwise be eligible for alimony. If you have sex with someone other than your spouse, you will receive no support under these circumstances. Additionally, if a supporting spouse engaged in an affair, the Court will now require them to pay alimony. And if both spouses had sex outside of the marriage, the Court will view those acts of misconduct as canceling either other out and evaluate whether alimony will be paid based on other statutory requirements and factors.

Finding The Best Cary Alimony Lawyer For You

Unfortunately, because the laws in North Carolina regarding alimony leave a lot of discretion to the Court, the situation can create a wide disparity in awards and numerous problems for parties looking to resolve alimony issues during divorce.

Thankfully, when you work with an experienced Cary alimony lawyer, you will not have to tackle this complex situation on your own. The attorneys at Triangle Smart Divorce are here for you, ready to take on your legal issue, and looking for a reasonable resolution through negotiation or mediation. If we do end up in Court, you can be sure we’ll present your position effectively, preserving your interests in the process.

Contact us today to schedule a call.


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