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Alimony: What Can Be Held Against Me?

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a frequently contested element of separations and divorces in North Carolina. It isn’t difficult to understand why. Separations are emotional times and are sometimes triggered by extreme animosity, so it does not help when the issue of ongoing spousal support payments arises. One spouse may feel entitled to as much support as possible, while the other completely disagrees and does not feel that they should have to pay anything. How Does Alimony Work? A court can order a “supporting” spouse to make alimony payments to a “dependent” spouse based on numerous factors set forth in the North Carolina General Statutes. These factors generally allow a court to take a step back and look at the totality of the marriage. Some of the factors …

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Does Alimony Last Forever?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is money provided from a “supporting” spouse to a “dependent” spouse. To qualify for court-ordered alimony, a dependent spouse must demonstrate an actual financial dependence on the supporting spouse, and that the alimony is required to maintain the lifestyle he or she was accustomed to during the marriage. How is the Duration of Alimony Determined? North Carolina General Statute Section 50-16.3a (that a is supposed to be capitalized. I can’t change it) provides that a court has the discretion to award alimony “for a specified or for an indefinite term.” In deciding the duration and amount of alimony, the court has wide discretion to consider “all relevant factors,” which include: Marital misconduct during the marriage and after the separation date; The earnings and …

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Resuming Your Education After Divorce

In Lifestyle, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Many of us have dreams for our futures. This usually involves some combination of achievement in education or career, marriage, and starting a family. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to have it all. In fact, getting married and having children create many tough decisions for both spouses. One common casualty of having a marriage and children is a spouse’s education and career. We see this a lot, and for a wide variety of reasons, including: An education is expensive. Although an education is an investment in your future, tuitions can be unaffordable for many people. Paying for college tuition or trade school, or assuming a big student loan simply isn’t an option for some people. Or if a person gets married or has children while receiving their higher education, the couple’s …

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Spousal Support 101

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult and stressful process. For many people, money and financial stability are big parts of what makes the prospect of a divorce so uncertain. For example, some women know that their relationship is over or that they want out, however feel like they have no options because they are financially dependent on their spouse. If you are in this situation, please contact New Direction Family Law. North Carolina law provides you with options and we can help you figure out your steps forward. Regardless of whether only one spouse is employed, the law recognizes the contributions of both spouses. This includes the sacrifices that a wife or husband makes regarding their education and career when one stays home to maintain the household and raise the …

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How to Separate: Sometimes it’s Easier Said than Done

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

The end of the year is fast approaching.  A saying in my line of work is that this is our slow time of the year.  It seems that folks who may have been thinking about separating just try to get through the holidays, especially if there are children involved.  Wanting to separate from your spouse is sometimes easier said than done.  There are a myriad of issues you need to consider before either of you physically leaves the marriage. 1.      Somebody’s gotta go.  Even when both parties are unhappy and want to separate, many times neither wants to leave the marital home.  You may have a great emotional attachment, you may want to stay for stability for the children, or sometimes, you just don’t want the other spouse to be …

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D.W.S. (Dating While Separated)

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Can I date after I separate from my spouse, but have not officially divorced? This is a question a lot of people ask once they are no longer living as a married couple. Legally, the answer is yes. There is no criminal law that prevents someone from dating after separation and before the divorce is final. Whether you were unhappy in your marriage for a long time prior to separating, or as the months have passed after your separation you find that you miss the companionship of another person, it’s reasonable to ask about dating. Many people enjoy having a special “someone” to share their free time with and waiting the “year and a day” from your date of separation to file for divorce can seem daunting without companionship and …