The financial consequences of a divorce can be significant, especially if your soon-to-be ex was the household’s primary breadwinner. Alimony, post Separation support and/or spousal support, require your ex to financially support you for a specific period of time so that you can establish yourself without fear of suddenly being left without any source of income.
Do not let a fear of financial ruin keep you from separating from an abusive ex or a partner you are not compatible with. You may be entitled to an award of alimony, and our family law attorneys are committed to helping you receive this crucial financial support.
Contact Patrick, Harper & Dixon right away to see if alimony or post-separation support might be available to you in your matter.
Alimony’s Purpose in Your Divorce
When you go through a separation and eventual divorce in North Carolina, the court must ensure that the marital assets you and your ex accumulated during your marriage are divided fairly between the two of you. But this division of assets alone does not always result in you and your ex being on equal footing when your marriage ends.
One inequality that can persist is an inequality in earning power. You may have sacrificed potential jobs and educational opportunities for the sake of your ex’s career during the marriage. This leaves you in a vulnerable position, one that may take months or even years of effort to remedy.
You may need to go back to school or obtain certifications, or your job search may take longer than average because of the sacrifices you have made.
Alimony and post-separation support exist to balance out this type of inequality. By being granted a temporary but steady and predictable source of support, you are able to focus on becoming financially independent and maintaining your standard of living. This goal is much more achievable without the panic that might accompany a sudden, dramatic elimination of income.
Remember that alimony or a support award is not guaranteed in all divorce cases, but only in those cases where it is legally and factually appropriate. Your full-service family lawyer can help you make your case for alimony and support. Contact Patrick, Harper & Dixon today to discuss your situation.
Types of Alimony in North Carolina
North Carolina law permits a court to order four potential types of alimony. A court may order more than one type at various points in your proceedings, depending on your specific situation. It is always best to seek an attorney early to ensure that you are not without financial help, and that you can receive the financial help you deserve and are entitled to from the earliest possible point in your case.
Post-separation support requires your ex to make temporary, periodic payments of support to you while your divorce is ongoing. The amount you receive may not be the final amount of alimony a court awards you after the divorce is granted and the court has had a more extensive opportunity to consider the financial picture.
An award of post-separation support may continue as long as the parties agree to the award or as long as the court feels it is necessary. In addition, post-separation support ceases once the divorce is finalized, as it is intended to help the financially dependent party through the litigation and up until a potential permanent alimony award.
In its Alimony Award, the court may find you need ongoing financial support for a certain duration. Temporary alimony is most often awarded when you need a period of time to become self-sufficient and financially independent.
This form of spousal support will continue for a specific period set by the court but usually very limited in duration, and it may stop if you remarry before that limited time period has passed.
You may need this form of support if you allowed your professional certifications to lapse during the marriage because of your household duties. Or you may have stopped working on a professional degree to care for your and your ex’s children and you now need an opportunity to finish your studies.
If you were married to your ex for a significant number of years or are of advanced age when you divorce, it may be impractical to believe you will ever be able to fully support yourself. In this case, the court may order a permanent alimony award.
As the name implies, permanent alimony has no set expiration date. Instead, your ex will continue making support payments until you die, remarry, or the court decides the support is no longer necessary.
As an alternative to periodic payments, the court may direct your ex to make a one-time payment of alimony to you. A lump-sum award of spousal support is not repeated and may be appropriate if you made financial sacrifices during the marriage but still maintain your ability to provide for yourself.
Contact Patrick, Harper & Dixon in Hickory, NC, Today
You bear the burden of showing that alimony, post-separation support, or spousal support is warranted in your case, and you can do this with the help of an experienced full-service family law attorney from Patrick, Harper & Dixon. We will analyze your unique financial situation, and where appropriate, we will argue forcefully in court and at the negotiating table for your financial support through the Alimony you deserve.