Being a stay-at-home spouse means that you are always at work. The need for cleaning, laundry, cooking and child care pretty much never ends. While you may have enjoyed professional success, many couples find that it makes more financial sense for one person to stay home. Other couples simply want to prioritize the care of their children in their earliest formative years.
Regardless of whether your motives were developmental or financial, your career took a hit so that you could do what was right for your family. Now that your marriage has become unhealthy or unhappy, you want to move on with your life, but you aren’t in a financial position to do so.
Is it possible for you to calculate the amount of spousal support that you can expect to receive before you file for divorce in North Carolina to budget ahead of time?
There is no online calculator for spousal support
North Carolina’s spousal maintenance or alimony laws don’t offer a specific formula or financial guidelines about what one spouse should pay or the other should receive. Instead, the law instructs the judge overseeing a case to look closely at a family circumstances and use those details to make decisions.
The standard of living you had while you were married, your earning potential before marriage and now, your spouse’s earning potential and even the custody of your kids can affect how much support the courts feel is appropriate in your situation.
Duration can be as unpredictable as amounts
The law in North Carolina doesn’t just fail to give a formula for spousal support amount. It also doesn’t give specific guidelines for how long it will last either. This decision, like the amount ordered, is interpretive and depends on what the judge perceives as necessary and fair.
The length of the marriage, the health of each spouse and also secondary factors, like custody of children with special needs, might lead to the courts ordering longer-term alimony. The same is true for divorces that take place at or past the age of retirement when a dependent spouse can no longer establish their own retirement funds or pension.
While you can’t get an exact figure for what you can expect to receive, you do have the right to request spousal support if you are not able to provide for your own financial needs immediately after you leave your spouse.