Charlotte-based Alimony Lawyers
Alimony, Spousal Support & Maintenance
Alimony, also known as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance,” is financial support paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Because each state determines alimony differently, it is important to consult with an attorney in your state to determine what factors the court considers when deciding if alimony will be awarded, to whom it will be paid and how much the payments will be.
There are essentially three types of alimony: permanent alimony, reimbursement alimony and rehabilitative alimony. Permanent alimony is basically an allowance for support and maintenance of a former spouse. It is designed to be used for necessities like food, clothing and housing for the spouse him or herself, independent of child support. When one party requests permanent alimony, he or she must establish a need for long-term support, and also that the other party has the ability to meet this need. Permanent alimony awards are not nearly as common today as they were just one generation ago, but they are still appropriate in many cases. Sometimes even “permanent” awards end when the paying spouse retires, so consulting a family law attorney prior to seeking support is recommended.
Reimbursement and rehabilitative alimony are paid for a shorter period and usually provide less than the standard of living during the marriage. Rehabilitative alimony is designed to provide the means necessary to enable one spouse to refresh or enhance job skills in order to become self-supporting. The goal is to provide financially while schooling or training occurs to increase the receiving spouse’s relative earning capacity.
The types of factors the courts consider when determining if an alimony award is warranted varies from state to state, but commonly include: the length of the marriage, fault of either party in bringing about the end of the marriage, and each party’s financial condition, age, health, education, earning capacity and employment opportunities, as well as any sacrifices that one party made for the benefit of the other. Of all the issues that arise during divorce, alimony and property division are often the most contentious.
Division of property
Property division is necessary yet often difficult part of any divorce proceeding. Each state has adopted one of two basic systems for distributing property: equitable distribution (sometimes called a “separate property system” or “common law system”) or community property. Regardless of the system used, each state has its own rules for dividing marital property. States differ as to how marital or non-marital, community, or separate property is defined. States also use different rules to decide how the property should be distributed. This is a complicated area of family law, and the advice and assistance of a family law attorney who is familiar with the property division rules of your particular state can be invaluable.
Contact a family law attorney today
Once you have decided to end your marriage, it is in your interest to approach the divorce process from a rational, business-like perspective. This can be extraordinarily difficult given the emotional issues with which you must also cope. Working with a lawyer at Knox Law Center in Charlotte, NC, who is experienced in family law can help you to get through the process with less stress.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.
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