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Alimony/Spousal Support

North Carolina Alimony/Spousal Support Lawyers Fight for Your Future

Trustworthy spousal support representation in New Bern and Morehead City

If you are going through a divorce, alimony (also called spousal support) is one of the major issues that could impact your future. Whether you are seeking spousal support or anticipate having to pay it, the court’s decision is going to affect your finances for a significant amount of time. For this reason, it is crucial to find an experienced and determined divorce attorney who knows how to pursue a fair and reasonable alimony order. Carolina Law Group, led by Tommy Kellis, has a team of accomplished litigators ready to fight for the results you need. Additionally, if you have a post-divorce alimony conflict, we can help you resolve that situation on favorable terms.

Types of alimony in North Carolina

If a dependent spouse requires support during the divorce process, the court can order post-separation spousal support. This temporary order terminates when the divorce is finalized. Types of alimony a North Carolina court might order include:

  • Permanent periodic — Lifelong support paid in fixed amounts at fixed intervals. This type of alimony ends when the payor dies or the supported spouse remarries or dies.
  • Rehabilitative — A fixed amount paid regularly for a limited time to allow a spouse to become self-supporting.
  • Lump-sum — Also called “alimony in gross,” this is a fixed amount, paid all at once or over time.
  • Reimbursement — The purpose of this type of payment is to reimburse a dependent spouse for contributions they made to the other spouse’s education, career, business or increased earning capacity.

Our legal team examines your circumstances to evaluate the case for each type of support.

Factors courts use to determine alimony

To determine the amount, duration and manner of alimony, the court must consider all relevant factors. The North Carolina statute mentions 16 key factors courts take into account, which include:

  • The marital misconduct of the spouses
  • The spouses’ incomes and earning capacities
  • The spouses’ ages and physical, mental and emotional conditions
  • The spouses’ financial resources
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The contribution made by one spouse to the education, training or increased earning power of the other
  • Contributions as a homemaker and parent
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Tax consequences of an award

We ensure that the court is aware of all pertinent facts that could influence an award.

Will you go to jail if you don’t pay alimony?

A court order for alimony has the weight of the law behind it. Anyone who willfully fails to pay support can be held in contempt of court and may be subject to enforcement tactics, such as wage garnishment, property liens and, in some cases, even jail time. If you find yourself unable to pay, you should immediately contact us to seek a modification of your alimony order.

How to obtain modifications of spousal support orders

Parties to an alimony order can request a modification from the court, either to increase or decrease the amount of payment, if there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” This change could relate to the supporting spouse’s ability to pay or the recipient spouse’s needs. Common reasons to seek a modification include:

  • The payor’s involuntary loss of employment
  • Disability or illness of either party
  • Unexpected financial emergencies
  • Unanticipated cost of living increases
  • The recipient spouse’s willful failure to become self-supporting
  • A significant improvement in the recipient spouse’s financial circumstances

It is important for a payor who cannot keep up with obligations to make the request before falling behind in payments, because those amounts owed will remain enforceable until the court issues a new order.

Contact our determined North Carolina alimony lawyers for a consultation

The Carolina Law Group, led by Tommy Kellis, helps North Carolina clients resolve conflicts over alimony. Please call 252-636-3737 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our New Bern or Morehead City location.

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