Wake Forest Spousal Support Attorney

Spousal support can be a very contentious issue in many divorces. Having a strong Wake Forest spousal support attorney from the Tolin & Tolin, PLLC in your corner can make all the difference in the outcome of your divorce, including spousal support. When you have a compassionate Wake Forest alimony attorney who understands what your financial needs are, it is simply much more likely that you will be awarded necessary spousal support. If you are on the other side—the person paying the spousal support—we will fight for your rights just as strongly if there is no indication that your spouse needs or deserves spousal support.

In the 1960s about one in every four divorces included an award of spousal support. Today, that number has dropped to about one in every ten divorces. Only about three percent of men in divorce cases receive spousal support—a number that is up about 0.5 percent since 2000. The fact that women are the primary wage earners in more than 40 percent of American households leads some to believe there are more men eligible for spousal support, but pride, coupled with convention may stop them from seeking spousal support.

A Wake Forest spousal support attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC, offers empathy and compassion, combined with uncompromising dedication and unparalleled advocacy. We are committed to each and every client—to their specific issue and to a resolution that offers the best possible outcome. While we have a will to win, in family law matters there are seldom winners. Our goal is to help you get your life back on track, enabling you to move forward.

Attorney Jay Tolin takes the time to really listen to your issue, explaining anything you have questions about in a comprehensive manner. Jay is sincere and straightforward, always treating clients the way he would want to be treated. The legal team at Tolin & Tolin, PLLC holds the values of hard work, honesty, and treating everyone equally as important as Jay does. At Tolin & Tolin, PLLC, we never take the easy way out. We will clearly present your options, then offer our recommendations and advice in a clear, straightforward manner that will allow you to make the best decision for yourself and your family.

What is Spousal Support in North Carolina?

Following a divorce or separation, when one spouse is unable to support themselves financially as they transition out of the marriage, the court may order that the other spouse pay spousal support or alimony. This is usually paid monthly for a specified length of time or could be paid in one lump sum. In some cases, spousal support is “paid” by using marital assets. This means the spouse entitled to receive spousal support might be given extra assets, like the marital home, to compensate for having less ability to support himself or herself.

The underlying theme of spousal support is to ensure neither spouse has to immediately face a drastic change in their finances due to the divorce. While it seems relatively straightforward, spousal support is often a contentious, complex issue during a divorce. In many cases, one spouse may have given up educational or career opportunities, staying home to be a homemaker and/or take care of children. When the couple divorces, this spouse may be woefully unprepared to make a living and may have no way to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage.

Since the other spouse benefitted from the sacrifices made—and would have been unlikely to advance their career in the same manner without those sacrifices—spousal support would allow the spouses to walk away on more equal footing. The length of spousal support generally hinges on the length of the marriage. As an example, a marriage of 40 years in which one spouse gave up his or her career to support the other and raise their children might be awarded indefinite alimony or at least support that lasts for a significant number of years.

Are There Differences Between Spousal Support/Alimony and Post-Separation Support?

Spousal support and alimony are the same thing just different terms. A spouse may either be awarded alimony or spousal support during a divorce or as post-separation support. Post-separation support is considered temporary support that supports one spouse while the court evaluates the request for spousal support. Post-separation support will cease if the judge either grants alimony or denies a request for alimony. Alimony can end when:

  • Either spouse dies
  • When the spouse receiving alimony remarries or moves in with a significant other
  • If the court enters a judgment of absolute divorce with no pending alimony claim
  • When a judge dismisses the alimony claim
  • If the date specified in the post-separation support order has passed.

Alimony is considered more permanent than post-separation support, although this may not always be true.

Are There Different Types of Spousal Support?

Spousal support might be considered temporary—until the receiving spouse gets back on his or her feet—or could be set permanently or for a specific length of time. Rehabilitative spousal support might last for two or three years, allowing the receiving spouse to seek education or training that will help them make a living. When a judge considers whether one spouse should receive spousal support and, if so, how much, he or she will factor in the following:

  • The mental and physical health of each spouse
  • How long the couple has been married
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • What type of lifestyle the couple had during their marriage
  • The property and assets the couple acquired while married
  • Whether either spouse has a specific disability or any type of unique needs

If marital misconduct was an issue (marital misconduct could include physical or emotional abandonment, adultery, the commission of a crime, dissipation of marital assets, alcohol or drug abuse, or other dangerous behaviors that place the other spouse in harm’s way)

Whether one spouse refused to provide support for the other in terms of food, shelter, and financial assistance, even though it was clear the person needed assistance and the spouse was able to provide that assistance.

Any other factors that the judge determines could influence one spouse’s ability to support himself or herself

How is Spousal Support Calculated?

Often, a judge may award alimony for half the length of the marriage. This means that for a marriage lasting 10 years, if appropriate, the judge might award alimony for five years. Unlike child support, there is no specific formula for determining the duration of alimony, or the amount, meaning it is largely left to the discretion of the judge. In general, those who earn very high incomes can expect to pay more alimony than those with lower incomes. Because North Carolina judges have such discretion when awarding spousal support, there is a wide disparity in awards across the state, making it more difficult for spouses and attorneys to resolve alimony issues.

How Can a Wake Forest Alimony Attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC Help?

The Tolin & Tolin, PLLC serves Wake Forest, as well as clients throughout Franklin, Person, and Granville Counties. Having a strong Wake Forest spousal support attorney from Tolin & Tolin, PLLC, ensures you have an attorney who really listens, compassionately telling you the truth, even when it’s something you may not want to hear. We are well-respected in the legal industry, offering integrated and intuitive case management and the best client experience. Contact Tolin & Tolin, PLLC today—Where Unwavering Commitment and Unparalleled Drive Meet Exceptional Client experience.