Alimony Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina
Divorce creates significant long-term effects on every aspect of your life, including your family, assets, finances, and children. To mitigate any unfair economic consequence of the divorce, alimony may be awarded to the spouse who needs financial assistance. This court-ordered payment can help the supported spouse meet their financial needs or ultimately become self-supporting.
If you're thinking about filing for divorce and want to know your rights regarding alimony, it is important that you speak with an experienced North Carolina family law attorney for detailed guidance. At The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, I'm committed to offering reliable advocacy and personalized legal counsel to clients in family law-related matters, including divorce and alimony.
Whether you're trying to establish or modify spousal support arrangements, I can offer you the proper guidance you need to navigate crucial decisions. My firm – The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC – is proud to serve individuals and families across Gastonia, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas of Hickory, Charlotte, and Lincolnton.
Overview of Alimony in North Carolina
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered payment awarded during the divorce proceedings to serve as financial support to the dependent spouse. It requires the higher-wage-earning spouse to provide financial assistance or periodic payment to the unemployed or lower-wage-earning spouse for a period during the divorce proceedings or after the divorce.
In North Carolina, alimony is only awarded if one party needs financial help and the other party is able to pay. The spouse who makes the alimony payments is the "supporting spouse," while the spouse who receives the support payment is the "dependent spouse." A knowledgeable North Carolina divorce attorney can enlighten you about the different types of alimony in the state.
Types of Alimony
In North Carolina, alimony is a form of financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other party once the divorce has been finalized. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, the judge may award:
Temporary Alimony: This may be awarded if the dependent spouse needs time to learn a job skill, complete their education, or gain employment to become financially independent.
Permanent Alimony: This may be awarded if the dependent spouse is unable to become financially independent due to critical illness, advanced age, or a disability that prevents them from being able to work.
Alimony payments are usually paid periodically – every month – or in a lump sum. An experienced North Carolina alimony lawyer can evaluate your unique financial situation and help determine your eligibility for support.
Who Is Entitled To Alimony?
Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case. It’s also not based on gender. In North Carolina, spousal support may be awarded by the court when:
The dependent spouse can prove that they need financial assistance, and
The other spouse has the resources and ability to pay.
A skilled family law attorney can determine whether you are eligible to receive or pay alimony and help you understand how the type, amount, and duration of support are determined.
Determination of Type, Amount, and Duration of Alimony
In a North Carolina divorce, the judge may consider the following factors to determine the type, amount, and duration of alimony:
The length or duration of the marriage
The standard of living established by the couples during the marriage
Any marital misconduct, including infidelity, cruel treatment, abandonment, or alcoholism
Each spouse's age, mental health, physical health, and emotional condition
The education level, relative income, and earning capacity of each spouse
Whether one party contributed to the education, training, career, or increased earning power of the other spouse
Contributions of one spouse as a homemaker
The assets and liabilities available to both spouses
Custody arrangement and how it affects each spouse's earning ability
The assets and property each spouse brought into the marriage
Tax ramifications of alimony for either party
Any other economic factor deemed relevant by the court to award alimony
Every divorce case is unique. A skilled spousal support attorney can evaluate your personal condition and offer you knowledgeable guidance regarding how to establish or modify alimony agreements.
Making Changes to Current Spousal Support Agreement
Alimony orders are not set in stone. To modify alimony in North Carolina, the requesting spouse must show that there has been "a substantial change of circumstances" since the existing decree that makes the order unfair or inappropriate. Common examples of changes in circumstances include:
Involuntary loss of employment
The paying spouse has a significant decrease in income
The receiving spouse has become financially independent and no longer needs support
The receiving spouse is not making any reasonable effort to achieve financial independence
Developing a mental or physical disability
Alimony payments automatically terminate when:
The recipient spouse remarries
The recipient spouse cohabitates with a third party
Either spouse dies
A knowledgeable lawyer can fight diligently to protect your legal rights and help you navigate crucial decisions in your divorce.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Filing for divorce in North Carolina usually involves several complex processes. Establishing a fair divorce settlement and alimony arrangement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse can make the divorce process even more complicated. Hence, when considering divorce, consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is crucial to explore your possible options and advocate for your best interests.
At The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, I have devoted my career to offering outstanding legal services and guiding clients through the complicated procedures involved in establishing or modifying alimony agreements. As your attorney, I can work to understand your unique circumstances, enlighten you about how to establish spousal support, and determine whether you are eligible.
Additionally, I will work diligently with you and your spouse to establish a fair settlement agreement and settle pending divorce issues peacefully and quickly. I will fight to protect your legal rights and make sure you come out of the divorce in a financially stable position.
Alimony Attorney Serving
Gastonia, North Carolina
If you're thinking about divorce and trying to understand how alimony works, contact my firm – The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC – today to schedule a simple consultation. I can offer you the detailed legal guidance and brilliant advocacy you need to navigate intelligent decisions in your divorce. My firm proudly serves clients across Gastonia, Hickory, Charlotte, and Lincolnton, North Carolina.