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Divorce is stressful and questions regarding alimony and spousal support can be confusing. The experienced Raleigh family law attorneys at Smith Debnam can help you understand North Carolina alimony laws and walk you through every step of the process. Our attorneys are skilled in divorce law and can work with you on coming to a divorce agreement and helping you decide if an alimony order makes sense for your case.
In addition to assisting you with disputes over alimony, our family law attorneys can also help you with the division of marital property, child support, child custody, and other legal needs.
“Thank you doesn’t seem sufficient to express how appreciative I am of Rose Stout and her time. I will never forget our first meeting when she listened to me and conveyed that I was not simply billable hours. I continue to be moved by her kindness and decency. While I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay either, I hope if one day I can be of service, she will let me know. Thank you, Rose, for helping me reclaim the first day of the rest of my life and many other days to follow.” – Marie M.
The alimony attorneys at Smith Debnam are ready to take your case. To schedule a consultation with a Raleigh alimony lawyer at our firm, call 919-250-2000.
How is cohabitation defined?
Cohabitation is defined by statute as, “the act of two adults dwelling together continuously and habitually in a private heterosexual relationship, even if this relationship is not solemnized by marriage or a private homosexual relationship.” Cohabitation also includes the voluntary assumption of marital-like rights and duties, which can include sexual relations. State law determines whether or not cohabitants are eligible for support payments.
What is post-separation support?
Post-separation support is basically temporary alimony. It is intended to help meet the dependent spouse’s financial needs for a period of time during legal separation until the alimony claim can be heard by the court and a decision made.
What are the consequences of marital misconduct?
Marital misconduct can be considered when determining the amount or duration of alimony or as a basis for a court-ordered separation.
Can alimony ever be terminated?
When two parties agree to a specific amount of alimony, they also usually agree upon the circumstances that would warrant terminating alimony, including a specific ending date. Alimony typically ceases at a specific, predetermined date, upon the death of either party, upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse, or upon the cohabitation of the person receiving spouse.
How long does alimony last?
There is no specific legal requirement regarding the duration of alimony; however, there are many factors that a court will consider in determining the duration of alimony.
What happens if my spouse falls behind on alimony payments?
The manner in which alimony was resolved determines how it may be collected. Some of the measures to collect unpaid alimony can be accomplished without a lawyer, but a lawyer can help an individual to understand the process and what is involved.
Can the amount of alimony be changed if my circumstances change?
In some cases, the amount of spousal support a person is required to pay can be adjusted. When people have bargained for an amount of alimony in a contract that specifies that the amount will not be modifiable, it is not likely to be adjusted. However, in cases where alimony is set out in a court order and a person’s expenses have greatly increased, or one party’s income has significantly changed, alimony may be subject to modification. Legal advice is necessary to determine if the facts of the case warrant a modification.
How is alimony treated on my income taxes?
Spousal support is taxable as income to the person who receives it and tax-deductible for the person paying it.
How do I determine how much alimony I should receive?
How much alimony a person should receive is a complicated issue and depends on the financial situations of both parties. An individual can get a general idea of how much he or she might expect to receive by deducting his or her average, reasonable monthly expenses from his or her net income to determine what ability he or she has to pay. Then complete the same calculation for the other spouse’s average, reasonable expenses and net income to determine how much additional money he or she might pay on a monthly basis. This mathematical equation oversimplifies the process of determining an alimony entitlement, if any, and an attorney will help to determine, with more detail, what one might expect to receive. There are no formulas used in establishing alimony, and there are many factors that lie solely with the presiding judge.
How do I determine how much alimony I owe?
How much alimony a person should pay is a complicated issue and depends on the financial situations of both parties. An individual can get a general idea of how much he or she might owe by deducting his or her average, reasonable monthly expenses from his or her net income to determine what ability he or she has to pay. Then complete the same calculation for the other spouse’s average, reasonable expenses and net income to determine how much additional money he or she might need on a monthly basis. This mathematical equation oversimplifies the process of determining an alimony obligation, if any, and an attorney will help to determine, with more detail, what one might expect to pay. There are no formulas used in establishing alimony, and there are many factors that lie solely with the presiding judge.
Am I entitled to receive alimony?
If one spouse was the main financial provider in the family, the other spouse may be entitled to alimony payments. Each case is unique, and both parties’ needs and expenses will be considered in the decision.
Is there a difference between child support and alimony?
Yes. Child support is support paid for the use and benefit of the child, and alimony is support paid for the use and benefit of a spouse or former spouse.
What if my spouse had an affair?
Extramarital affairs can be considered a form of marital misconduct, which may affect the amount or duration of alimony that a person pays or receives. Sometimes, when extramarital affairs are an issue, lawsuits for alienation of affection and criminal conversation can arise. An attorney can help evaluate whether these actions are appropriate for a specific situation.
What is marital misconduct?
Marital misconduct can include certain acts that occur during the marriage, such as infidelity, abandonment, cruel treatment, verbal or physical abuse, reckless spending or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, among other things.