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4 factors that impact alimony

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Divorce

When a marriage comes to an end, questions about financial support often arise.

The issue of alimony can be a significant concern for divorcing couples. Many factors determine whether one spouse may receive financial support from the other.

1. Earning capacity

Alimony decisions also take into account each spouse’s earning capacity. If one spouse has a substantially lower earning capacity than the other, it may increase the likelihood of an alimony award. The court assesses factors such as education, work history and the ability to secure gainful employment when determining earning capacity.

2. Financial needs

To receive alimony, the dependent spouse must demonstrate a financial need. This need should include living expenses, standard of living during the marriage and the ability to maintain financial stability post-divorce.

3. Duration of the marriage

The length of the marriage is a key factor in North Carolina alimony decisions. Generally, longer marriages are more likely to result in alimony awards. Shorter marriages may only lead to temporary or rehabilitative alimony. Courts aim to ensure that spouses are not left in a significantly disadvantaged financial position due to the divorce.

4. Contributions to the marriage

The contributions of each spouse to the marriage are another consideration. This includes not only financial contributions but also non-financial contributions, such as homemaking and child-rearing. Courts may reward alimony to a spouse who made significant contributions to the marriage, even if they had a lower income.

Since only 29% of marriages have both spouses earning about the same amount of money, the chances that one spouse will get alimony are significantly high. Understanding the factors involved can help spouses better anticipate potential alimony outcomes and make informed decisions during the divorce process.