Alimony Lawyer in Raleigh
Protecting Your Rights Through Spousal Support
At Hopper Law Office, our divorce lawyers have worked with many Raleigh
clients needing legal assistance with alimony. Alimony, also known as
spousal support, is financial support from one spouse to the other following
divorce or separation. Alimony can be a difficult thing to agree upon
in divorce, especially if both parties are not in agreement over contribution
to the marriage or other issues.
Pursuing or Fighting a Spousal Support Award
Spousal support, or alimony, exists to provide an ex-spouse the financial
assistance needed to help that person carry on after the marriage is over.
There are many factors that affect whether an ex-spouse qualifies for
alimony, as well as how much should be allocated, such as one spouse not
earning an income. For answers to this and other questions related to a
divorce, you can rely on the
Raleigh divorce attorneys at Hopper Law Office. We are experienced in helping individuals get through
a difficult time more smoothly, so that they can focus on their futures
and start anew.
Factors that Determine the Need for Alimony
Every marriage is different, with many factors that affect the issue of
The following are common factors in cases of alimony:
- Length of the Marriage
- Earning Capacities of Each Spouse
- Infidelity During the Marriage
- Drug or Substance Abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Affairs with Infidelity (Affairs after infidelity during the marriage)
The preliminary steps to determining the value of alimony is for the court
to ascertain that one spouse was in fact the main supporter and the other
was dependent on that support. If this bears out, then the process of
seeing that alimony is equitable is the next step. Divorce can be complicated.
Property division, spousal support,
child custody and much more have to be worked out. We give each of our clients the individual
and compassionate attention they need while attending to all the legal issues.
Post Separation Support Laws in North Carolina
Alimony and Post Separation Support (PSS) are the same as temporary alimony.
PSS is rehabilitative and not punitive support. The court may award alimony
and/or PSS to a dependent spouse from the supporting spouse in an equitable
amount after considering all relevant factors. Either spouse may file
for PSS or alimony.
Dependent vs. Supporting Spouse
Dependent Spouse: The spouse who is substantially dependent on the other spouse for financial
support in order to meet his or her monthly reasonable needs.
Supporting Spouse: The spouse who has the ability to provide financial support to the dependent spouse.
North Carolina does a financial test to determine who the dependent spouse
is and who the supporting spouse is at the time of separation. This is
typically done by evaluating the reasonable needs of each party by comparing
monthly expenses and income. The reasonable needs are based not only upon
income, but on reasonable expenses for the dependent spouse to maintain
the same standard of living as the parties enjoyed prior to their separation.
This is statutorily referred to as maintaining the same standard of living.
There are additional factors that the court considers such as:
- Employment of the parties
- Income earning abilities
- Debt structure
The party who has a short fall is the dependent spouse and the spouse who
has a surplus is the supporting spouse. The court may award alimony by
obligating the supporting spouse to pay the financial short if the support
spouse has a sufficient surplus.
Effects of Cheating & Marital Conduct on Alimony
Affairs or Illicit sexual behavior can have an effect on alimony. If a
spouse that is seeking alimony is revealed to have been engaged in an
extramarital affair, they may not be able to receive an award. Likewise,
if a spouse who ordinarily would not have had to pay spousal support is
exposed to having been unfaithful, alimony payments may be made mandatory.
If both or neither spouses engaged in illicit sexual behavior then alimony
may be award by the court based upon the financial tests.
The court may take into consideration the marital misconduct of a party
when determining whether or not to make a discretionary award of Alimony.
Marital Misconduct can include:
Illicit Sexual Behavior: Sexual or deviate sexual intercourse.
Statutorily Sexual Acts: Cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, or anal intercourse. It does not include
A variety of other factors and conduct of spouses during the course of
the marriage can have an effect on the determination of alimony.
The court will make a decision after an examination of the following factors:
Involuntary Separation: A party is incarcerated as a result of criminal conduct.
Abandonment: When one party leaves the home willfully with the intent of ending the
Malicious Turning Out of Doors: When one spouse excludes the other from the residence.
Cruel or Barbarous Treatment: Actions that endanger the life of the other spouse (such as domestic
Indignities: Actions that render the other spouse’s living conditions intolerable
and make his/her life burdensome and humiliating (such as domestic violence
or emotional abuse).
Reckless Spending: If one party recklessly spends the other’s income. Also refers
to the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of assets
Excessive Use of Alcohol or Drugs: so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life
Willful Failure to Provide Necessary Subsistence: – Failing to provide for the other party’s basic needs to
the point that their life becomes intolerable.
Need Legal Help? Contact Hopper Law Office Today!
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally taxing experience. At Hopper Law
Office, our experienced
Raleigh family lawyers understand the gravity of your situation and are prepared to stand by
your side every step of the way. Protecting your well-being is our top
priority, and we are ready to do everything we can to help you achieve
a mutually acceptable arrangement with your spouse. With personalized
representation and an unshakable dedication to preserving your rights,
we can help you get through this difficult time as smoothly as possible.
(919) 876-3300 to learn how our Raleigh alimony lawyer can help.