North Carolina alimony

Factors in a North Carolina Alimony Case – As family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina we receive many inquiries from people who are either seeking a divorce, or are thinking about getting a divorce in the near future.  Of course, there is an emotional aspect to the life changing decision of ending a marriage, but there are other considerations as well.

Financial considerations regarding getting divorced usually center around Equitable Distribution and Alimony.  Though we have written about Alimony in the past, this blog is intended to give a little bit more detail.  Like all of our blogs, this blog is intended for informational purposes only and it is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

Alimony in North Carolina

Alimony is money paid, after divorce by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse.  We wrote a blog that covers the topic in great, which you can read here.  

Alimony trials

Often times an Alimony case can be settled via consent, but when the parties cannot agree, it is settled by trial and the judge uses the factors outlined in North Carolina General Statute 50-16.3a, which are listed below.

Factors considered in an alimony trial:

  • The material misconduct of either of the spouses
  • The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses
  • The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the spouses
  • The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurances, social security, and others
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse
  • The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason or serving as the custodian of a minor child
  • The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage
  • The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs.
  • The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support
  • The property brought to the marriage by either spouse
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
  • The relative needs of the spouses
  • The federal, state, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award
  • Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper
  • The fact that income received by either party was previously considered by the court in determining the value of a marital or divisible asset in an equitable distribution of the parties marital or divisible property.

Parties in a trial are given an opportunity to provide evidence regarding all of the above-mentioned factors and at the end of the trial, the judge determines what the Alimony award well be, if applicable.

Other considerations and determinations

Another consideration regarding alimony is the time frame in which the alimony is affective.  Contrary to popular belief, permanent alimony is not always awarded.  Sometimes alimony is only awarded for a limited about of time such at 3 years, 5 years or any several other number of options.

Also, it is important to note that in North Carolina, a complaint for Alimony must be filed prior to the finalization of a divorce or the claim is forever barred.

If you have an alimony case in Charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding areas, contact us. At Gilles Law. We handle Alimony and many other family law related matters.

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