Alimony, or spousal support, is the provision of financial support to a dependent spouse by a supporting spouse after separation or divorce. At The Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain, our goal is to provide a calm and compassionate advocate for our clients, while helping them to negotiate a financial settlement that will allow all parties to move forward in their lives with as little financial hardship as possible.
Ms. Cain is a Certified Family Financial Mediator and has helped many clients resolve alimony and support issues through mediation, arbitration, and the collaborative process. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, then we aggressively pursue a court’s order that is suitable for the situation.
When a married couple separates, a judge may enter an order requiring one spouse to make a monthly post-separation support payment for the financial support of that spouse while the couple proceeds through the legal process. In determining the award of post-separation support, the court considers the financial needs of the parties in addition to:
Other factors, such as marital misconduct, may also weigh into the court’s decision. Since there are no firm statutes in place for calculating post-separation support under North Carolina’s equitable distribution standard, these cases often fall to the discretion of the judges handling them. In cases in which post-separation support is awarded, it is meant to provide the supported spouse with the assistance they need to firmly establish a new lifestyle, and these payments are only meant to continue for a limited period.
After a court has made a decision regarding post-separation support, the court may enter a subsequent order requiring one spouse to make a monthly alimony payment to the other spouse for their financial support, based either on an agreement of the parties or on a decision by the court following trial. Unlike child support, there is no formula to calculate alimony payments. Rather, the court has discretion in deciding not only how much alimony is awarded, but also the duration of any support. There are many factors a court considers such as:
Many other factors may be taken under consideration by a judge in reaching a decision regarding alimony. Concord alimony attorney Aimee E. Cain has assisted numerous clients – dependent and supporting spouses alike – in reaching favorable outcomes with respect to North Carolina alimony.
When a Concord, NC family court judge issues alimony or spousal support order, the order will stipulate when the alimony agreement ends, and the paying spouse is released from their financial obligation to the recipient. The order will also include any terminating actions that would end the agreement early. These typically include the recipient marrying a new spouse or cohabitating with a new partner. These changes would reduce their overall living expenses and disqualify them from future alimony payments.
It is also possible to petition the court for reasonable changes to your alimony order or the early ending of the order in light of recent events beyond your control. Your alimony or spousal support agreement was made using your financial information available at the time, and if your situation changes, this has a material impact on your alimony or spousal support order. An experienced Concord spousal support lawyer can help you draft a petition for modification of your alimony order. This would take your new circumstances into account and would reduce or end your payment obligations to your ex.
A: North Carolina laws do not enforce any specific formula for calculating alimony in divorce, and, generally, alimony is very rarely granted to divorcing spouses in the Concord area. A judge handling a divorce case typically requires alimony based on their interpretation of the facts of the case at hand. Divorcing spouses may also reach privately settled agreements pertaining to alimony if they choose to resolve their dissolution through alternate means of resolution.
A: Alimony is rarely awarded in North Carolina divorces, but judges may require ongoing alimony arrangements in light of important details of a divorce. If one spouse was fully dependent, financially, on the other for many years or if they are unable to work and support themselves for medical reasons, a judge is likely to award alimony based on these individual needs.
A: When a judge orders alimony, the arrangement will last for a period of time deemed appropriate by the judge issuing the order. In most cases, alimony will last at least half as long as the marriage lasted. Your family law court order will include complete details of your alimony rights and responsibilities. In most cases, alimony can end early if the recipient remarries, obtains a high-paying job, or begins living with a new partner.
A: Navigating any civil case without legal counsel is incredibly risky, especially emotionally charged cases like divorces. Hiring an experienced legal representative is one of the best things you can do to protect your needs and future interests following your divorce. The right attorney can make a significant impact on the overall quality of your experience with the entire process and the outcome.
Ms. Cain invites potential clients to contact her office to discuss legal representation by her firm in their alimony proceedings.