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Review of the factors courts use to determine alimony

Although this blog has discussed them before, from time to time, it may be helpful for Charlotte residents to do a brief review of what factors North Carolina courts will examine when they are deciding whether or not to award alimony.

In addition to deciding whether spousal support is appropriate in the first place, courts will also use these factors to decide how much spousal support the court should award and for how long.

The point of spousal support is two-fold. First, it is to make sure that neither spouse walks away from a divorce destitute. On a related point, courts also use spousal support to balance out any inequality between the parties.

Therefore, many of the factors courts will consider involve the relative financial situation of each spouse. For example, courts may consider how much education each spouse has, as well as how much overall income earning potential each spouse will enjoy.

Courts may also consider how much in the way of assets and debts each spouse plans to maintain after the divorce, as well as whether one spouse gave up a career, and earning potential, in order to stay at home during the marriage.

It should be noted, moreover, that so-called marital misconduct, which often forms the basis of heart balm claims, can also come in to play when a court considers spousal support.

Alimony is largely a decision that courts make based on the particular facts and circumstances. Therefore, getting the help of an experienced family law attorney who can advocate for one's position may be an important step.

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