Separation and divorce can be expensive. One or both of you have to move out of your home, you have to pay rent and utilities at a second place while also paying the mortgage of your home, and you have to furnish your new place and have furniture for your children when they visit. In addition, you are facing the looming reality of paying spousal support, child support, and dividing marital property. You therefore seek to save money wherever you can.
Sadly, some people choose to save money by representing themselves when it comes to issues like spousal support. This is a mistake, as some spouses end up agreeing to ill-advised spousal support agreements. For example, if your spouse has an attorney, you need one too. Your spouse’s attorney only has a duty to your spouse—not to you. In fact, some attorneys feel free to completely take advantage of an unrepresented spouse in order to gain the most favorable agreement for their own client. This translates in completely lop-sided agreements where you pay more in spousal support that you would had you gone before a court.
You need an attorney to inform you of the law and to advocate for your legal interests. The law regarding spousal support is actually pretty complex, because unlike child support, there are no real guidelines or calculations that you can enter information and come up with a reliable spousal support obligation.
Instead, when the issue of spousal support goes before a court for an alimony award, courts can make a fixed or indefinite alimony award based on numerous factors, such as marital misconduct, the earnings and assets of the parties, the couple’s standard of living, the duration of the marriage, the health of the spouses, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the contributions of each spouse to the household.
Given the broad range of factors a court can consider, it is very hard to predict what an alimony award is going to be. However, an experienced attorney who understands alimony cases and works in front of these judges can give you the information you need to make wise, informed decisions—instead of doing it on your own.
New Direction Family Law
If you are considering a separation with the intention of a divorce or if you have been served with a lawsuit involving property division, alimony, child custody, or child support, you need an attorney. New Direction Family Law is a family law firm that guides clients through these complex and emotional issues. We have years of experience behind us, which we will use to protect your legal rights and help you to move forward. Our legal team proudly represents clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation or reach us online through our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law