Going through a divorce is tumultuous for any number of reasons, one of which is the uncertain financial future a spouse may be facing. This is particularly true in marriages where one spouse earned a significantly higher income than the other. The state of North Carolina wants to see spouses treated fairly, and alimony is the legal mechanism for doing that. An experienced Greensboro alimony lawyer might make a big difference in shaping a spouse’s financial future.
Our founder, Barbara Morgenstern, instills her philosophy in the firm. She believes in presenting realistic alternatives to clients in order to cause as little harm as possible during the process. This holds true for all of our cases. We want to represent you in a way that achieves your goals but avoids any legal pitfalls.
Alimony is designed to allow each spouse to enjoy the same standard of living they had during the marriage—or at least ensure that each spouse bears any financial burden from the divorce equally. It is incumbent on the spouse asking for alimony to prove that they need it, and that the other spouse has the ability to pay it.
If that is proven, then a judge will have wide discretion in deciding how large or small an alimony payment will be. There are a wide range of factors that will influence this, but it’s just as important to emphasize what will not matter.
It doesn’t matter if one spouse earned less income than the other. North Carolina law treats all contributions to a marriage equally, regardless of whether those contributions had monetary compensation attached to them. It’s not uncommon for spouses to earn less income for reasons ranging from the raising of children to the care of elderly parents, to other reasons that all involve making real contributions to a marriage without the benefit of monetary reward. Alimony is meant to ensure these spouses can be made whole as they move to the next chapter in their lives.
At Morgenstern Associates, our Greensboro alimony attorneys understand all that should go into a fair alimony award, and we understand how to best fight for your interests, either in mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Call today at (336) 565-7655 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.
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The length of the marriage will be a significant factor in how much alimony is awarded. So will the ability of the spouse receiving the alimony to ramp up a new career after the divorce. A spouse that was married for 30 years and raised four children faces a bigger struggle starting a career than does a spouse who is ending a short-term marriage with no kids involved. The alimony award in each case will reflect those differences.
A court may also consider the value of investments that won’t be realized. An example here might be someone who supports their spouse’s decision to get a master’s degree for the sake of advancing in their career, or to invest time and money into starting a new business. The divorce might mean that the payoff on these investments will come well into the future. But the spouse who lent their support to the other deserves a right to be compensated via the alimony process.
The obligations each spouse has outside of the workplace will play a role in determining the alimony award. While it must be noted that alimony is different from child support—the former is for the spouse, the latter for the expenses associated with raising children—the spouse that gets child custody will likely be in a more difficult position when it comes to starting or advancing a career. A higher alimony payment might be necessary, at least until the kids are old enough for the parent to back to work.
North Carolina allows for the court to consider the reasons for the divorce in making an alimony judgement. If one spouse was unfaithful, this can influence the alimony award. This isn’t true in every state, but it is here in North Carolina. Fidelity matters, at least when it comes to alimony.
Morgenstern Associates has attorneys with over 45 years of experience fighting for clients going through divorces and facing an uncertain financial future. We’re here to help you make the pivot into a new era of life and to do it with some level of security. From our Greensboro office, we serve clients throughout Guilford County, along with all of Rockingham County and Alamance County.
Ashley Bennington went to bat for me and 100% knocked it out of the park. She was able to not only get my case dismissed, but was able to draw up a resolution that previous lawyers told me was a long shot to impossible.Joe F.