How Will Your Financial Picture Look After Separation?
Many people have legitimate concerns about what separating from their spouse 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 alimony be addressed in a fair manner to allow both parties some stability as they start to lead individual lives.
At Martin A. Tetreault, P.A., our family law attorney has over 25 years of experience. He understands the challenges you face. He can 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.
Will Alimony Apply In Your Divorce?
Alimony, also called “spousal support,” is not a given in every case. Whether you will be entitled to receive alimony payments, or have to make alimony payments, will depend on several factors, including each spouse’s income and earning potential. Couples can sometimes work out the specifics of an alimony settlement on their own. However, if you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse, the court can make a determination based on each party’s income, earning potential, and other factors including the following:
- 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
- Martial misconduct by either spouse (which can be more than just having an affair)
Temporary alimony (called post-separation support) can be awarded shortly after separation, but typically lasts only until alimony is determined. Alimony payments can last for a fixed period of time, or permanently. Under certain circumstances, alimony payments can be modified if one or both party’s circumstances change significantly. Each case is different and attorney Martin A. Tetreault can evaluate your particular situation and provide you with perspective about what might be possible given your resources and goals.
Dividing The Assets Equitably May Not Mean Equally
Alimony is only one part of the financial puzzle of a separation between spouses. Married couples who have assets like homes, 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 the Court ultimately divides marital assets (and debts) will depend on the discretion of the judge, if the divorcing parties are unable to create their own agreement regarding property division.
In general, property and assets that each individual brings to a marriage or inherits will stay with that person after separation, and any property and debts that the couple acquires during the course of a marriage will be divided. As with alimony, however, each couple’s situation is different and there are exceptions; this requires an individualized approach when dividing property and other assets of a previously shared life.
Call Today To Protect Your Financial Future
Take the first step toward securing your financial future. Call our Smithfield office at 919-934-6670 or use our online contact form to get in touch and schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney who is ready to look out for your best interests.