The phrase ‘alimony’ is used interchangeably with spousal support. Regardless of which term is used, both refer to the financial obligation that one spouse may be directed to provide to the other as a condition of their divorce or separation. A Concord alimony lawyer can represent you whether you are seeking alimony or want to avoid unfair payments.
During a divorce, the court may identify which spouse provided the most economic support during the marriage and assess if the other spouse will be able to support themselves independently post-divorce or need the assistance of alimony for a certain period of time.
The court respects the fact that both spouses have become accustomed to living at a certain standard for many years during their marriage and wants to try to preserve that living standard as much as possible for the foreseeable future.
A Concord spousal support attorney can help determine who is eligible for alimony payments and what fair and reasonable terms of an alimony agreement should look like.
Alimony is a complex and often contentious issue that may create significant challenges in a divorce. If you are involved in a divorce and you or your spouse may seek alimony, it is critical that you retain a knowledgeable family law attorney to ensure the protection of your rights.
You can find the quality legal representation you require at Lancaster and St. Louis, PLLC. To schedule a consultation with a family lawyer at our firm, contact our law office in Concord, North Carolina.
You and your spouse may negotiate an agreement concerning alimony. If you are unable to reach an agreement, it becomes a matter for the court.
North Carolina alimony laws grant judges considerable discretion. Courts have discretion to grant or deny alimony and to fashion an alimony order in an amount and for a duration it determines appropriate. In addition, courts may award temporary alimony during a divorce, which is referred to as post-separation support.
Alimony claims are evaluated in a two-step process in North Carolina. First the spouse seeking alimony must prove to the court’s satisfaction that he or she is a dependent spouse. The court will consider a variety of factors, including the income of the spouses and any disability of the spouse who is seeking alimony that impacts his or her ability to provide for basic needs. Second, the court may consider the issue of marital fault.
The spouse seeking alimony does not have to prove that his or her spouse engaged in marital misconduct. However, infidelity will bar the dependent spouse from receiving alimony.
There are a number of different factors that help Concord alimony lawyers and the court determine if alimony payments are necessary and how much they should be. These factors include how long the individuals were married within the state, each spouse’s earning capacity, and what their financial contributions have been to the marriage.
In addition to finances, the court will also consider one spouse’s non-economic contributions. This can be advantageous for those who were largely homemakers, taking care of raising the children during work hours and ensuring all other personal matters were dealt with while the other spouse was at work.
Financial needs will also play a significant role. If the lower-income spouse sacrificed years of their life to stay at home and deal with family responsibilities instead of receiving an education or advancing their career, the court would likely favor their request for a larger alimony payment. When they move on from the divorce independently, it may take them time to find a job in which they make enough money to make ends meet and support their children.
Until then, alimony payments can compensate for their basic needs and maintain a similar standard of living as they had when married. This monthly stipend could be coupled with a child support payment as well.
The concept of post separation support was designed for one spouse to pay another during the period before their divorce is finalized. The difference between post separation support and alimony is that alimony is issued post-divorce. Both individuals’ family lawyers should make these distinctions to their clients and navigate them through the process.
Separation support recognizes the fact that both individuals may not be willing to live together during their own divorce process, especially when in contentious legal battles that would make it unhealthy to go home and continue those types of conversations without their attorneys present.
As such, the lower-income spouse might not be able to make ends meet without a post separation support order, which is why the other spouse could be forced to provide support payments until an official alimony agreement is reached as part of their divorce.
Given the significant discretion that courts have to determine how to resolve alimony disputes, it is critical that you retain a skilled divorce lawyer who can negotiate a favorable agreement on your behalf or make a compelling case on your behalf at trial. You can rely on Lancaster and St. Louis for the strong advocacy you require.
For advice and representation regarding your alimony matter, contact Lancaster and St. Louis by calling 704-792-1277. We serve clients in the Concord, Cabarrus County and other surrounding communities.