Alimony Spousal Support
Spousal Support is NOT Mandatory
Spousal support, as it is now commonly called, has in the past been known as “alimony.” Spousal support is not mandatory in most states. However, spousal support should be considered if a spouse will face hardships if he or she does not receive financial support after the divorce. The deciding factor regarding spousal support is the need to maintain the spouse at his or her customary standard of living. In other words, the law recognizes that a wife (or husband) should not be forced to live at a level below that enjoyed during the marriage. Mast Law Firm can help!
However, other factors also need to be considered. For example, spousal support should most likely not be considered if:
1. the marriage was for a short duration (under two or three years), and
2. both spouses are employed and self-sufficient.
This does not mean that the parties cannot agree on spousal support, which the court is, more or less, bound to accept.
Spousal support can run for an unlimited period, subject to the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse, or it can be fixed to terminate on a specific date.
Child Support First
Child support payments take precedence over spousal support. However, no firm dollar figure is used for spousal support. Both parties should decide this amount to the action. The amount payable can be up to 40% of the paying spouse’s net income after deducting child support, less 50% of the supported spouse’s net income if the supported spouse works.
Get it in Writing
The recipient spouse can waive spousal support, but it should be in writing and signed by both spouses. If the higher income earner is the petitioner for the divorce, it is generally not enough to simply allege in the divorce petition that the other spouse waives spousal support. The other spouse must acknowledge the waiver in writing. If the lower income earner is the petitioner for divorce, the waiver can be included in the petition and subsequently entered into the judgment. For more information, visit our legal services page.
For a confidential consultation about alimony spousal support, you can either fill out our online form, or call our Smithfield, North Carolina office at (919) 934-6187, or toll free at (800) 280-6676. or our Cleveland/Garner office at (919) 661-2005
For more information on our full legal services, visit our legal services page.
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