How long will I have to pay alimony after my divorce?

As the primary earner in your marriage, you may view alimony, also known as postseparation support, as a cause for worry—especially if you are in your 30s or 40s. You have a lot of life left to live, which means decades of paying alimony to your former spouse, correct? Not necessarily. While the duration of alimony depends on your specific situation, numerous circumstances terminate alimony in North Carolina. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more likely it is that one of these scenarios will apply.

What circumstances terminate alimony orders?

Following any of these events, alimony is null and void.

  • Your former spouse remarries
  • Your former spouse engages in cohabitation in the context of a romantic relationship
  • You or your former spouse dies
  • Your former spouse is named as the payor of alimony in an order from another district
  • You fulfill the term of a temporary alimony order

Can I modify an alimony order prior to termination?

Provided you can prove a significant change in circumstances—on either side of the arrangement—you can ask the court to modify your order. Qualifying circumstances include but are not limited to a change in earnings, a change in expenses, a change in living arrangements, a change in marital status or a change in health.

Alimony is a natural component of high-asset divorces. However, it’s crucial to remember that the arrangement is often—though not always—temporary. An experienced lawyer can help you secure the most advantageous order possible for your situation.

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