Alimony refers to payments that are made to support and maintain a dependent spouse after a divorce. The laws that govern alimony are not set in stone. A judge will typically determine alimony according to the specific circumstances of a case.

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The spouse who makes the payments is the supporting spouse. These payments can be made continuously or as a lumpsum payment given at once. The following post explains further what alimony involves:

According to the legal definition, the purpose of alimony is to avoid unfair economic consequences of divorce even after the property division and the award of child support (if any). In the majority of cases, a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse gets alimony. There may be cases when the alimony aims to help a spouse continue living within the standards they used to during the marriage.

The amount

The court decides the amount of awarded alimony based on some factors like:

  • The age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial condition of the ex-spouses

The period of time that the recipient would need for training or certain education in order to become self-sufficient. Read more at Margarian Law…

If you and your spouse are in agreement about which of you is entitled to alimony and how much support is required, you can settle the issue out of court. If an agreement is not forthcoming, then a court process would be in order.

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There are various types of spousal support, as explained in the following post:

In North Carolina, there are two types of spousal support. Post-separation support is a form of temporary financial support paid while the divorce is in process; alimony is the financial support one spouse pays to the other after the divorce is finalized. Either spouse can request post-separation support while the divorce is being resolved. The judge will look at each spouse’s income, earning abilities, financial need, and the marital standard of living.

Post-separation support ends when the final judgment is entered; at that point the judge will either make an order that support is no longer necessary, or establish an order for permanent alimony. Read more at Divorce Net…

Courts award alimony using the principle of fairness. Several things will be considered before making a decision on the amount of alimony, and how long it should be paid.

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Once the court orders that you should pay alimony, you have to obey the orders. Failing to do so may result in negative consequences, as the following post explains:

Contempt of Court Is One Consequence of Not Paying Alimony

If you fail to make several alimony payments, your ex-spouse can petition a judge to serve you with a contempt of court order. This means that you have violated a court order and must appear before a judge to explain why you are not paying the alimony.

Unless you can make a credible argument as to why you aren’t paying the alimony, the judge will order you to resume making the payments (including all past payments) or face additional fines and a possible stint in jail.

Wage Garnishment Is Another Consequence of Not Paying Alimony

In some states, a family judge has the power to order income withholding – also known as wage garnishment – in which the alimony payments are directly taken from the paycheck of the person who owes the alimony. Read more at Mep Family Law…

Here’s a common scenario: You have been ordered to pay alimony, then your circumstances change after a period of time. In such a case, it is best to petition the court to reconsider the payments.

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Alimony is one of the hurdles you may have to face in a divorce proceeding. As such, you will need a competent lawyer to walk you through the process. Jonathan Meek is an experienced and highly skilled divorce lawyer at Meek Law Firm who will capably handle your case. Call him today at (704) 848-6335 or complete the contact form on our website to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.