How to Prove You Need Alimony in North Carolina
Spousal support is an important safety net for many divorcees in North Carolina. Without alimony, many spouses might feel forced to stay in marriages against their will. When someone becomes dependent on their partner for the basic necessities of life, they cannot simply walk away from the marriage without some guarantee that they will be supported. Spousal support provides divorcees with this guarantee of safety and well-being, and it allows individuals to carry on with their lives without being locked into a marriage.
With all that said, not just anyone can receive alimony in North Carolina. In order to receive these funds, you need to prove that you actually need them. This is a relatively straightforward process, but it does require some degree of planning and organization. In order to approach this process in the most efficient way possible, you should work with one of our qualified, experienced family law attorneys in North Carolina. We can explain the requirements for alimony in greater detail and help you pursue adequate, fair alimony payments.The Definition of Dependent
First, let’s consider the definition of a “dependent spouse.” When is a spouse considered “dependent?” The most obvious answer would be someone who earns less than their spouse. But how big of a difference does there need to be between these two incomes? Could a spouse earn one dollar less than the other and still receive alimony?
There is no actual formula for calculating alimony in North Carolina, which means that a judge must use their own discretion to make the best possible decision. That being said, a judge will obviously make a reasonable decision based on the circumstances. In order for a person to receive alimony, they generally need to have a substantially lower income compared to their spouse. Judges are basically free to decide how much of a difference classifies as “substantial.”Proving Your Financial Situation
In order to prove that you need alimony payments, you will need to provide proof of your financial situation. This might include tax returns, receipts for living costs, budgets, mortgage payments, rent payments, grocery bills, and a wide range of other things. This evidence shows that you are earning substantially less than your spouse (or nothing at all), and it proves that you need alimony.Medical Conditions
In addition, you might need to provide medical records and documents when pursuing alimony. This is because judges in North Carolina take your mental and physical health into account when determining alimony payments. Certain conditions and health concerns may prevent you from earning a living after your divorce. If this is the case, you can use your medical records as proof that you need alimony.Future Earning Capacity
In many cases, the overall goal of alimony payments is to help spouses “get back on their feet” and eventually become financially independent once again. However, this can be a significant challenge for spouses who have very little future earning capacity. In order for many spouses to realistically support themselves and their children, they may need to spend years developing job skills and earning certifications. In order to get the alimony payments you deserve, you may also need to prove that a certain amount of time is necessary for you to develop these skills and certifications.Marital Misconduct
In addition, North Carolina may be more likely to grant significant alimony payments to a spouse who has been the victim of marital misconduct. Because of this, you may need to prove that your spouse was unfaithful. On the other hand, your spouse may accuse you of being unfaithful, which means that you have to prove that you are innocent. If you cannot prove that you are innocent, you may be barred from alimony altogether.Your Spouse’s Responsibilities
Of course, your spouse also has their own responsibilities in this process. They must also provide their own financial information so that the court understands the disparity between your incomes. Many spouses try to conceal their true income or defer bonuses and raises, which can lead to additional concerns.Enlist the Help of a Qualified, Experienced Attorney Today
Proving alimony may be one of the simplest aspects of a divorce in North Carolina, but it is still something you should approach carefully. With the right legal assistance, you can get the alimony payments you deserve. You may find that if you work with a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina, it becomes easier to receive larger, more substantial alimony payments. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC for help today.