Part of your upcoming divorce settlement may require you to pay your spouse a support amount. It is natural to wonder how long you will have to pay alimony. Each state has its standards for establishing spousal support, and North Carolina is no exception.
As The North Carolina Judicial Branch website explains, the state has no guideline to set a fixed period of paying alimony, nor are there any formulas to calculate a time period. Instead, the specific factors that inform your case will determine how long you must financially support your spouse.
Possible factors a judge will consider
A North Carolina judge has the latitude to consider many different factors in determining whether you should pay alimony and for how long. They may include some of the following:
- The length of your marriage
- Your marital standard of living
- The income of both spouses
- The earning capacities of both spouses
- The physical and emotional state of each spouse
Almost any aspect of your marriage might inform how long your alimony period will last. Even questions of misconduct on your part or the part of your spouse during your marriage may influence a decision on alimony.
Events that could end spousal support
Even if your divorce judge establishes an alimony period, certain factors can automatically cut off your support obligation. Your former spouse could die. Your ex might find love again and move in with a new significant other, or even get married.
While these possible events are important to know about, you might feel more confident about your future if you can establish a definable period for alimony in your divorce settlement. Steps such as divorce planning or negotiating with your spouse may help you emerge with a desirable settlement.