Who is Entitled to Receive Alimony
Alimony or spousal support is one spouse’s lawful obligation to give monetary support to his or her former partner after separation or divorce. In the past, spousal support typically consisted of the husband paying his former wife. Modern practice, however, typically has a more gender-neutral viewpoint, instead requiring any spouse with significantly more financial assets to provide support to the other spouse.
Rules regarding this important divorce-related issue and the factors that help determine how much support ought to be given and who ought to receive it vary from state to state, so if you are interested in pursuing a divorce in North Carolina, you should contact a Raleigh divorce attorney to better understand how the law will apply to you specifically.
Alimony usually falls under four different types:
- Temporary – this is otherwise known as “pending the suit,” from the Latin pendente lite; it is given when spouses decide to separate even before they get divorced.
- Rehabilitative – the spouse who earns less is the recipient of the support, but only until he or she acquires work and becomes self-sufficient.
- Permanent – so long as the supporting spouse is alive or the beneficiary has not remarried or died, the financial support to the one earning less is given continuously.
- Reimbursement – this support takes the form of repayment to a spouse for the expenses, such as education, he or she has made during marriage.
Some of the factors affecting decisions on alimony cases are: duration of the marriage; age of the spouses when the divorce began; income of the spouses and their financial prospects in the future; health of the divorcing parties; and fault in marital breakdown.
More than 10 years of civil union or marriage usually merits permanent alimony. However, the amount of this alimony can vary significantly, and even those who receive permanent alimony may no longer be able to support themselves at the standard of living to which they may have become accustomed in their marriage.