As you are preparing for divorce, you may be wondering if you will have to pay your future ex-wife alimony in addition to child support. Unfortunately, divorce is rarely a clean break. Very often, couples will always have some sort of relationship after divorce, especially when support payments are involved.
Sometimes, when a couple divorces, the court will award spousal support (alimony) to one of the spouses. You and your wife can come to a support agreement on your own or the judge may decide for you.
A local North Carolina family law attorney will be your best resource for all of your questions regarding divorce. Continue reading to learn more about alimony basics and what to expect during the divorce process.
The court awards alimony so that a spouse that has little to no income is not left in an unfair financial situation as a result of the divorce. For example, if your wife has not pursued a career because the two of you agreed she would manage the household, the court will more than likely award her spousal support. The court recognizes that your wife will need time to develop job skills to support herself and help provide for your children.
Determining the amount
Unlike child support, there is no set mandate for the amount of alimony you will pay. The court has significant discretion in how it decides how much alimony you will pay and for how long. There are several factors the court will consider while making a decision about alimony. The court will look at the age, physical condition, mental state, and financial situation of each of you.
It will also examine the length of time your wife needs to become self-sufficient, your standard of living during the marriage and the length of the marriage. In addition, the court will also consider your ability to make support payments and still support yourself.
Time length of support
In general, the court orders that a spouse pay alimony only for long as it takes the other spouse to become self-supporting. If your divorce decree does not specify an end-date, you must pay alimony until the court decides otherwise. If your wife remarries, the court will more than likely suspend your alimony payments.
Divorce is a very complicated process. You and your wife may be able to settle your divorce out of court. However, if you cannot come to an agreement, the court may make decisions for you regarding asset division, child support and alimony. If you are thinking of divorcing, the first thing you should do is seek legal counsel. Contact a local North Carolina attorney for advice on your impending divorce.