Apex Alimony Lawyer – Wake County Family Law Attorney
North Carolina courts award alimony in an action for a divorce if it finds that one spouse is dependent upon the other supporting spouse. Courts will weight a variety of factors, including marital misconduct (cheating) by one spouse. If you have a family law case involving alimony contact the domestic relations attorneys of Maginnis Law, PLLC at 919.960.1545 or submit a new case inquiry here.
Alimony is payment for the support and maintenance of a former spouse ordered in an action for divorce. The payment can be made periodically, in a lump sum, or for a specified term or indefinitely. The court awards alimony to a dependent spouse if it determines that one spouse is a dependent spouse and one spouse a supporting spouse. The court must also determine that an award of alimony is equitable after considering all relevant factors. The court has extensive discretion in determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony (which makes having an attorney for these hearings essential). In determining the amount, duration, and manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider factors such as:
– Marital misconduct; including:
- Illicit sexual behavior;
- Involuntary separation as a consequence of a criminal act committed prior to the time alimony proceeding is sought;
- Cruel treatment;
- Reckless spending of income by either party;
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs; and
- Willful failure to provide necessary subsistence.
– Relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;
– Ages and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
– Amount and sources of earned and unearned income;
– Duration of the marriage;
– Contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
– Relative assets and liabilities of spouse relative to earning potential;
– Property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
– Contribution of spouse as homemaker;
– Relative needs of the spouse;
– Federal, state, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
– Extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by serving as custodian of a minor child;
– Standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
– Relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse to find employment;
– Fact that income was received by either party was previously considered in determining the value of marital or divisible asset; and
– Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.
The court must provide sufficient detail to satisfy a reviewing court that all relevant factors have been considered. If the court enters a judgment denying alimony, it must set forth specific reasons. Additionally, if alimony is awarded, the court must set forth the reasons for its amount, duration, and manner of payment. If child support is ordered, the court must state and identify each allowance separately. Alimony and counsel fees may be barred by an express provision of a separation agreement or a premarital agreement so long as the agreement does not violate North Carolina law. Reasonable attorney fees may be awarded to a dependent spouse if the spouse is entitled to alimony. Just as in post-separation support, attorney fees are to be paid by the supporting spouse.
Alimony can be among the most important of all family law matters. It can have significant impacts on both parties long after the divorce is finalized. Having an attorney who understands the issues is very important and can have significant repercussions in determining alimony. Whether you are a supporting or a dependent spouse, the attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC will provide you with professional and skilled representation.
Maginnis Law, PLLC is a Raleigh, NC law firm accepting family law cases from Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Durham, Morrisville, Clayton, Wake Forest, and throughout the Research Triangle areas. For alimony or other family law issues, contact Wake County Family Lawyer Karl S. Gwaltney at 919.960.1545 or send a confidential email inquiry using our contact page.