What do people need to know about alimony?
Couples in North Carolina who are considering a divorce should understand the things the court considers when deciding on alimony.
Each State has slightly different rules and laws about alimony, and North Carolina has its own nuances. The State legislature provides a wide array of different stipulations that can affect the amount of alimony awarded, and can determine whether the couple satisfied the conditions required for alimony to be awarded. Understanding this can help people get a better idea of what they may be facing when getting a divorce.
The conditions for awarding alimony in North Carolina
In any case of divorce, the court always bases its ruling on findings of fact. Findings of fact comprise reasons for the court to decide the manner of payment, duration, and amount of alimony, as well as reasons for its decision to deny or award it. There are a number of different factors that apply to the court’s decision, such as those in the following list from the North Carolina State legislature:
- When determining the alimony award, the court will always consider any ramification for the local, State, or federal tax as they apply to either party in the divorce.
- If one or both spouses were considered to be homemakers, the degree to which either person contributed shall be considered by the court.
- If any legal obligations, debt service requirements, liabilities and/or assets come into play, these will all constitute factors that the court takes into account.
- Education can be a costly endeavor that consumes a lot of time, and, as such, the court will look at this as a potential factor if it was necessary for either spouse to meet his or her economic needs.
An important thing for couples to keep in mind is that any kind of infidelity or marital conduct, even if such conduct took place post-separation, shall be considered by the court. The court will also take into account if this conduct was or was not condoned by the other party.
An important aspect of how cohabitation is defined
Part of the law in North Carolina is that the court will re-evaluate alimony payments if the dependent spouse remarries or moves in with a new partner, on the condition that this new circumstance constitutes cohabitation. It is important to note that in order to be considered cohabitation, the dependent spouse must be receiving some kind of economic benefit from their new partnership. Additionally, the new relationship must be exclusive and monogamous, as well as continuous and habitual.
Some people in North Carolina who are undergoing a divorce or separation may be seeking alimony, or may wish for help in reducing the amount of alimony he or she may be expected to pay. Those in this circumstance, or who wish to have their alimony re-assessed post-divorce, may wish to contact an attorney in the local area who practices family law.