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What is Alimony?

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Alimony, also called maintenance and spousal support, is usually related to divorce. You must be married to qualify for alimony. If you haven’t been married, but you’ve lived with a romantic partner for a good number of years, you can qualify for palimony (a combination of pal and alimony).

Alimony is a payment paid by the ex-spouse to another ordered by the court. It is a way to share the financial resources of a divorcing couple fairly. When a judge is awarding alimony, consider two things: if an ex-spouse has a demanding financial need and if the other spouse can pay. Judges usually award alimony in cases where the financial resources of the divorcing couple are not shared equally, and they have been married for a long time.

There is a high chance of a divorcing couple not being awarded alimony if they have been married for only a year. Some states have a specific number of years that a couple has been married before awarding alimony. It would be best to have an experienced lawyer handle your alimony case for a better chance of things going your way during these times.

How Alimony Works

Judges are required to answer to state law when dealing with alimony. However, they have a certain level of consideration on who and how to award the alimony. There are two types of alimony; temporary (used to a spouse while the divorce processes are unfinished) and permanent (part of the divorce decree).

Divorcing couples can pay alimony payments in:

  • Property transfer
  • Periodic payment (usually a monthly allowance)
  • A sum-total payment

Property transfer and sum-total payment cannot be modified or canceled. However, periodic payments can be adjusted if the nature of the financial status of the spouse changes.

Alimony In Marriages

Periodic alimony awards are the most common among divorcing couples. One spouse pays a certain amount to the dependent spouse. A periodic alimony award will end on a date that has been set by the Judge or when a spouse dies, the dependent spouse remarries, moves in with another person, and an important event occurs. This event could be the retirement of the paying spouse or a new high-paying job of the dependent spouse.

When this happens, the Judge doesn’t need to continue the alimony award, so he ends it. It is the only basis for a change of court order. Like a typical divorce, the couple can negotiate and agree on the amount of alimony and how long the paying spouse will pay.

Implementing an Alimony Award

A spouse is required to begin paying alimony once a judge signs the order. A dependent spouse can execute an alimony award to file a motion when the paying spouse ceases to pay the alimony. The court later fixes a hearing to determine why the paying spouse is not following the court’s orders and measures to enforce them.

Contact Our Office Today!

For an easy process to deal with alimony, call on the help of an experienced lawyer from GPS Law Group at 704-741-9957. Our office serves residents and families in Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and surrounding communities in Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Cabarrus County, Iredell County, and Gaston County, North Carolina.