Will My Alimony Last Forever in North Carolina

After a divorce, most people in North Carolina simply want to get on with their lives and put everything behind them. Unfortunately, repercussions from actions via the legal system may prevent you from ever truly moving on. Constant reminders of your failed marriage may continue to haunt you in the form of child support payments, alimony payments, and other legal matters. This is obviously something that many spouses want to avoid, especially if they are facing the possibility of indefinite alimony payments that will continue for the rest of their lives.

The good news is that North Carolina generally approaches alimony payments with a fair and equitable mindset, taking into account a wide range of factors to ensure that no spouse is being asked to do anything unreasonable. When you understand the various factors that go into this decision, you can approach this potential issue in a much more confident and efficient manner.

Of course, the best way to approach this situation is to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced divorce attorney. Team up with one of our legal professionals, and you stand a much better chance of getting a fair deal when it comes to alimony. We can show the court that permanent alimony payments are unfair, and that your former spouse is perfectly capable of supporting themselves without your help.

Alimony Laws Are Changing in the United States

Generally speaking, alimony is viewed as an antiquated concept by many courts across the United States. Alimony was created at a very different time in history when women were less able to work in any meaningful way. Today, women make up an important part of the national workforce, and so the core reason for establishing a system of alimony payments no longer really makes sense.

Many states across the nation have already abolished permanent alimony. However, North Carolina is one of the few states that still can award permanent alimony to dependent spouses, along with states like New Jersey and Florida. That being said, this handful of states is getting smaller each year, and Florida is the latest state to pass legislation that would ban permanent alimony.

When Do Courts Award Permanent Alimony in North Carolina?

Not every dependent spouse receives indefinite alimony payments. Permanent payments are only awarded under very specific circumstances, and many spouses only need to make alimony payments for a set period of time. Permanent alimony may be more likely in the following situations:

  • The Dependent Spouse is Very Old: When a dependent spouse goes through a divorce at a very advanced age, courts are more likely to award permanent alimony. This is because people who are quite old generally cannot support themselves without a reliable source of income. To ensure that these spouses are not “left out in the cold,” courts will likely order that they are provided with alimony payments for the rest of their lives.
  • The Spouse is Disabled: If the dependent spouse is disabled when the marriage ends, the chances of permanent alimony payments also increase dramatically. Once again, the core reason is due to the spouse’s inability to support themselves.
  • The Marriage Lasted for a Long Time: If the marriage lasted for a very long time, the chances of permanent alimony payments also increase substantially. A dependent spouse may successfully argue that they “put their career on hold” in order to raise the kids and become a full-time housewife. At the end of the marriage, it may be unrealistic to expect this spouse to go back to school and receive advanced job training. This may result in permanent alimony payments.
Other Factors That May Impact Alimony

There are a number of other factors that may impact alimony. One of the most important things to remember is that in North Carolina, marital misconduct can impact a spouse’s ability to receive alimony payments. In addition, the spouse who becomes the custodial guardian may also receive a more substantial alimony award. This is because the court assumes that the spouse’s earning capacity is diminished due to the obligations of raising children.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you are concerned about having to pay alimony for the rest of your life, you need to get in touch with a qualified local divorce attorney as soon as possible. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC, and you can approach this situation in an efficient, confident manner. We have years of experience handling high net worth divorces and high conflict separations, and we understand how important it is for spouses to maintain control over their finances after the end of their marriages. Book your consultation at 704.370.2828 today, and we can develop an effective action plan together.