Alimony lawyers can examine your case to consider the possibility of either spouse receiving spousal support. The courts will decide whether alimony will be paid as a lump sum or in regular payments. It may be ordered for a specific length of time or indefinitely. When the length of alimony is indefinite, it will be terminated only due to one of a number of conditions, including:
- If the parties resume their marriage
- When either party dies
- When the recipient gets remarried
- When the recipient lives with a new partner
These terms and conditions can be decided upon by agreement by both parties during settlement negotiations. In addition to these conditions of termination, you and your spouse may decide on a specific date or condition under which alimony will end. For instance, you may decide that alimony will be paid for a period of five years. This can then be put into the settlement agreement with help from an alimony lawyer. The judge will typically allow whatever the parties agreed to in their pre-divorce discussions. Your alimony attorney will work with you to review your need for support or ability to make alimony payments.
How Alimony is Determined in North Carolina
In North Carolina there are not any recommended guidelines for the determination of alimony. Instead, there is a two-part test that courts utilize to decide whether alimony should be provided. The first part of the test looks at the amount of money a spouse needs to continue living with the same standards as they did in the marriage. To this end, the judge reviews the spouse’s expenses compared with the available income. Alimony lawyers will use these tests to find out whether you should request alimony.
Next, the courts determine whether the spouse who is to provide support has the ability to pay alimony. In addition to these two tests, the judge is allowed to take many other factors into consideration when making this decision. Some of the things that the judge may consider include:
- Earnings of each spouse
- Physical, mental and emotional state
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living
- Financial requirements of each spouse
- Education of each party and potential retraining to obtain employment
- Ability to earn a sufficient income
- Contribution to the household
- Sources of income
- Assets and liabilities
- Marital misconduct
- Tax implications
You should consult with your alimony lawyer as soon as possible in the process. If you are in need of alimony following a divorce, your alimony attorney will work to attain it on your behalf. Negotiation with your spouse’s alimony attorneys can sometimes result in a fair compromise. In cases where couples cannot agree, the decision will be left up to the court.
Keep in mind that the judge may not make a decision that you like. Before you allow that to occur, your alimony lawyer will advise you as to what possible outcome may happen. You will need to prove that you have a need for assistance either on a temporary or permanent basis. Be prepared for the most likely result.
If you are requested to pay alimony, but feel it is unfair, you will need to provide proof of your position. Talk to your alimony attorneys who will help you gather any information and documentation necessary to prove your case. Your alimony lawyer will work to protect your rights throughout the procedure.
When you are requesting payment, an alimony lawyer in Wilmington, NC will review all of the information and help make a determination before the matter gets to court. Then, the attorney will work to obtain a fair amount of alimony in an agreement with the spouse, prior to going to court.