Alimony And Equitable Distribution

Many people have legitimate concerns about what a divorce will mean for their future financial well-being. Especially in cases where one spouse earned a great deal more than the other or one spouse stayed home to take care of children or household duties while the other worked outside the home, it is essential that a final divorce decree provide a fair financial settlement that allows both parties some stability as they separate and start to lead individual lives. At Martin A. Tetreault, P.A., in Smithfield, North Carolina, we can help evaluate your individual situation and craft a fair financial agreement with your former spouse that will help you move into your next phase of life with confidence. Call 919-912-2270 to schedule a consultation or contact us online to get more information.

How Does Alimony Work?

Alimony, also called "spousal support," is not a given in every divorce. Whether your divorce includes a provision for alimony payments will depend on several factors, including each spouse's income and earning potential. Couples can, in fact, work out (to the best of their ability) the specifics of any preferred alimony settlement on their own. But if they can't agree on all or any elements of a settlement, then the court will get involved and make a determination based on the above factors (income, earning potential) and others, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living the couple had while together
  • The age and health (physical and mental) of each spouse
  • Contributions of one spouse toward child care and homemaking
  • Whether one spouse played a supporting role while the other was in school

Alimony can be temporary, during the course of the divorce itself, or it can last longer, either temporarily or permanently. If one spouse had an affair that led to the breakdown of the marriage, alimony may not be an option. And alimony payments can change if one party's circumstances change significantly. Each case is different; attorney Martin A. Tetreault can evaluate your particular situation and provide you with perspective about what might be possible given your resources and goals.

What Is 'Equitable Distribution'?

Alimony is only one part of the financial puzzle of divorce. Married couples who had shared assets like a home, cars, retirement accounts and other benefits need to divide these assets fairly when they part ways. Fair, however, doesn't necessarily mean 50/50 in North Carolina. The way in which a former couple's assets ultimately get divided in a divorce will depend a great deal on the discretion of a judge, particularly if the divorcing parties are unable to agree on their own how things should be divided. In general, property and assets that each individual brings to a marriage will stay with that person in a divorce, and any property and assets that the couple acquires together during the course of a marriage will be divided. As with alimony, however, each couple's situation is different and requires an individualized approach when dividing property and other financial assets of a previously shared life.

Call Today To Protect Your Financial Future

Take the first step toward securing your financial future in the wake of a divorce. Call Martin A. Tetreault, P.A., at 919-912-2270 or use our online contact form to get in touch and schedule a consultation with an experienced family law lawyer who is ready to look out for your best interests.