Alimony and Spousal Support
Getting a divorce signifies the end of your marriage and the start of a new beginning. You may want to cut all ties with your spouse and move forward to a fresh start. Paying alimony to your spouse in your Charlotte, NC, family law case can be that one lingering factor that ties you to your spouse well into the future.
When couples get married, they hope for years of wedded bliss
But the truth is, many marriages end in divorces that are emotionally trying and complicated, especially when it comes to legal matters.
One of the things couples must think about when going through a divorce is alimony
Alimony is the amount of money the ‘supporting spouse’ pays the ‘dependent spouse’ after the marriage. Often couples argue over the amount of money that should be paid.
A Charlotte NC Family Law Attorney can help you find come up with an alimony amount that works for both of you and file all the necessary legal paperwork to ensure the book is doing everything.
Read on to find out more about alimony cases and how a lawyer can help you in your divorce.
When Are Alimony Payments Necessary for Charlotte Family Law Cases?
Alimony payments are sent to a spouse that does not have the financial means to support themselves after the divorce. The court may deem you the high earning spouse that provided for your family during your marriage. You may be ordered to pay alimony as part of your divorce settlement according to family law in Charlotte, NC.
Alimony payments occur in a variety of ways. They may be monthly payments that you make to your spouse or they can be a lump sum that gets paid off after the divorce proceedings. You could also be ordered to transfer property and your alimony payments could be ordered to continue for life.
What Is Considered When Determining Alimony Payments?
Alimony is paid by the spouse who earns more money to the spouse with a lower income. The amount of money spent is based on several factors, including the following:
- How much each spouse makes and how much each is capable of making
- The ages, physical, mental and emotional state of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living each spouse that was established during the marriage
- The needs of the spouses
- The contribution of the spouse as a homemaker
- The education of each spouse as well as what it would take (in terms of training and education) for them to find employment that meets their economic needs
- The extent to which earning power and expenses will be affected by the custody of a minor child
- The sources of earned and unearned income
- The marital misconduct of the spouse through the date of separation
- The contribution of one spouse to the education, training and earning the power of the other
- The assets, liabilities, and debts of each spouse
- The property brought to the marriage by either spouse
- The federal, state and local tax ramifications
- Other economic factors
Why Would My Spouse Get Alimony in My Family Law Case in Charlotte, NC?
The idea behind alimony payments according to family law in Charlotte, NC, is to allow your spouse to live the same lifestyle that they had during the marriage. The judge takes a variety of factors into account when determining if alimony payments should occur and how much they should be going forward.
You do have the option to renegotiate your alimony payments into the future if determined that your spouse can financially support themselves more so now than they could previously. A judge in your Charlotte, NC, family law case will look at factors such as current income and future earning potential. Your length of the marriage, as well as the physical and mental health of your spouse, are also factors for determining alimony.
Your conduct during the marriage is a contributing factor that determines if you pay your spouse alimony. Conversely, your spouse’s conduct will also be taken into account to determine their eligibility to receive alimony.
To maintain the current standard of living for both you and your spouse, the judge will look at your lifestyle as well as if your spouse contributed to your career and your earning capabilities. They will also take into consideration whether your spouse can further themselves with education or training to receive a higher earning potential.
If any of these factors occurred or impacted your marriage, there is a probability that you would have to pay alimony as part of your divorce proceedings. A family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, can help you determine what alimony payments would occur as part of the divorce and help develop a case that supports your financial claims.
What are the Different Types of Alimony?
Different types of alimony can be paid. The determining factor is how the alimony payments are made. Here are some examples of the different types of alimony.
- Periodic Alimony: Ongoing payments of specified amounts that are made regularly
- Lump-Sum: Lump sum payments are generally made all at once but can also be paid off over a given amount of time.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is designed to help one of the spouse’s transition back to single life by providing funds for training or education.
- Reimbursement Alimony: This is where one spouse is repaid for the contributions they made to the marriage to increase the earning capacity of the other spouse, such as working while they went to school.
Can My Alimony Payments Be Terminated or Modified?
For the most part, alimony payments continue until one spouse passes on. However, there are circumstances where alimony can be terminated or modified. Some examples of situations where the alimony status changes include when one spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with another person.
When Can I Stop Paying Alimony in My Family Law Case in Charlotte, NC?
Your alimony payments could be ordered for a set period of time or for life; but in either case, there are some circumstances that automatically make them stop. If your spouse remarries, you have every right under the family law in Charlotte, NC, to immediately stop your alimony payments on the date of the marriage.
The Charlotte, NC, family law dictates that remarriage no longer requires the support of alimony payments as now your spouse is dependent on another. There is no need to have a court proceeding to stop payments as the law provides that you can automatically stop without penalty. This does not mean that a lump sum that was ordered by the court gets deferred as this was an arrangement decided before the marriage.
You also have the ability to stop your alimony payments when your spouse cohabitates with another partner. This would mean that they are living in the same home as their primary residence in a romantic relationship with another person.
If your spouse does not come forward about their cohabitating relationship, you will need to prove to the court that it is occurring using evidence that supports your claims. This does not include a relationship where both parties have separate homes and spend time together at each other’s place of residence. There needs to be one sole residence and the sharing of financial responsibilities to be considered cohabitation under family law in Charlotte, NC.
Do I Need a Family Law Attorney in Charlotte, NC?
You may want to consult with a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, to help you understand how you can prove that cohabitation is occurring and what you need to do support your claims in court. A Charlotte, NC, family law attorney can help you arrange the recalculation of your alimony payments as your spouse becomes more financially stable.
If possible, you and your spouse can come to an agreement on a new alimony payment amount that can be filed with the court with both your signatures. A family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, can help you develop the right documentation for the court and work with you to reduce alimony payments for your spouse over time.
Divorce lawyers are not always necessary
Depending on the state you live in and the type of relationship you have with your spouse, you may be able to work with a third-party mediator to come up with a solution that works well for everyone involved.
Once an agreement has been made, the couple will go to the court, who will grant them divorce in writing.
However, situations can arise where bringing in a lawyer will become necessary. Here are some examples of cases when it will be best to bring a lawyer in:
- If your spouse has a lawyer representing them in your divorce settlement, it is in your best interest to lawyer up as well.
- If you and your spouse are not able to agree on major and minor issues.
- If your divorce involves children or complex financial issues.
- If you fear your spouse may become violent in any way while the divorce proceedings are taking place.
In certain circumstances, couples may also need to seek the help of an alimony attorney. This may be the case if your divorce attorney does not specialize in spousal support cases.
Consult with a Charlotte, North Carolina, Family Law Lawyer Today
Having a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC, on your side during your alimony proceedings can help reduce your overall payments and provide evidence that supports your claims that your spouse is financially able to support themselves. Working with a family law attorney can make the process of filing for a divorce easier and quicker as they will guide you through each phase of the legal proceedings.
When you need the assistance of a Charlotte NC family law attorney, that can help you reduce your responsibility to pay alimony payments, count on the lawyers at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. They are lawyers that will fight for your Charlotte, NC, family law rights and help you understand the law as it relates to your divorce case. Allow the attorneys at Remington & Dixon to get you a fair divorce case and help you move forward with your new life after divorce. Contact us today for a consultation.