Jun. 20, 2022
How to Maximize Alimony Payments in a Messy Divorce in NC
Alimony in NC is an equalizing aspect of a divorce where a spouse that is not the income-earner in the marriage can obtain a steady share of the income earned post-separation.
This allows people to pursue divorce and exit bad marriages without the fear of becoming destitute, an aspect that kept many women trapped in bad marriages prior to the 1950s.
Today, alimony is a shared aspect of divorce where any partner that is not the primary income earner can pursue it as the dependent spouse.
Again, the ability to self-support and earn income are the primary factors, and right behind that the court weighs who was responsible for ending the marriage if there was misconduct.
The courts balance out social responsibility with income disparities and what’s needed for both partners to function and survive separately and financially. Then the court tries to balance the picture to what is, in its opinion, a fair split of the assets and income reflecting the value of the marriage up to the divorce.
The cost of living comes into play as well, and it depends on the information the spousal support lawyers provide to the court for their clients.
This is often argued by both sides, as costs can be a direct calculation of the dollar figures the court uses. The court will vet the figures proposed by both sides to arrive at what it deems is the best outcome.
Tips for Increasing Alimony Awards
Obviously, the amount of North Carolina alimony awarded in a divorce becomes final as a court order unless changed by the court after the fact.
Obtaining as much of an alimony award as possible is a key goal for the dependent spouse. On the other hand, the supporting spouse may feel inclined to see it minimized as much as possible. This conflict sets the stage for the alimony case in a divorce trial.
Alimony amounts are the domain of the court’s judgment influenced by many factors – expert spousal attorney Mercedes Chut points out.
- First, if the ruined marriage happened by marital misconduct, the court can lean on the supporting partner if responsible. The comparative income levels of the partners, age, and likelihood to gain a self-supporting career post-divorce come into play as well.
- Second, measuring the physical capability and emotional stability of the partners. Retirement accounts, assets owned, the length of the marriage, education of the partners, and who will likely be able to grow their income going forward all come into play as well.
- Finally, the court considers the practical likelihood of self-sufficiency as well as supporting factors such as taxes, property ownership, and health liabilities going forward.
A solid strategy looks to paint the dependent spouse in the best state possible for the court’s favor, maximizing the alimony involved.
If the supporting spouse’s income is $5 million and he or she was responsible for the marital dissolution due to cheating, it makes no sense that the dependent spouse gets alimony of $50,000 a year, but the argument still is to make it higher.
Risks to North Carolina Alimony Retention
Alimony in North Carolina isn’t intended to support forever. The most common reason for the cancellation of alimony is that the dependent spouse remarries someone else with sufficient income.
Additionally, if the dependent spouse is in a relationship with someone else prior to the court providing support, it could cancel an alimony award as well. Regularly living with a new partner can end alimony as well.
Many states also apply a time limit for application, oftentimes being half the length of the marriage age. After that, the dependent spouse should become self-sufficient.
There are exceptions to these things. For example, if a dependent spouse has a disability or cannot earn income, that would be a factor the court would easily consider different than the norm. Finally, if either of the original spouses passes, the alimony ends.
Alimony Lawyer Expert in North Carolina
Given all the above, as well as the emotions and technical complexities of the court process, it becomes essential for a dependent spouse to work with a qualified divorce alimony lawyer to maximize the best alimony results possible in their case.
The court will often pursue a path that is practical, but it is not obligated to do the work involved in making things perfectly fair.
Contact Mercedes Chut now and pursue the best alimony outcome for you!