Winston-Salem Alimony Lawyer

Alimony always comes into discussion during the divorce process. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most contentious issues of divorce, especially because many people remain informed about outdated notions of how alimony works. Ultimately, alimony exists to support a spouse who cannot support themselves with the same lifestyle after a divorce is completed.
If you are separated, going through a divorce, or seeking to modify your alimony agreement, it’s best to let an experienced Winston-Salem alimony lawyer handle your case. Regardless of your situation, dealing with disputes over alimony is time-consuming and stressful. An alimony lawyer can handle the details of your case while you focus on moving on with your life after divorce. Until you have a chance to meet with a Winston-Salem alimony attorney, here is some introductory information about alimony and how a Winston-Salem alimony attorney can help.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is the legal name for payments that one spouse pays another after divorce, sometimes referred to as spousal support. The supporting partner earns more income and makes one lump sum or continued payments to the dependent spouse under an alimony agreement.

If an alimony agreement involves recurring payments, they can last for varying amounts of time. How long a supporting spouse makes alimony payments depends on various factors. Some agreements last for a few months, and others can last a lifetime.

Some wrongly assume that alimony refers to payments from a husband to a wife after a divorce. This assumption is based on an outdated stereotype. North Carolina law does not favor one gender and alimony plays into same-sex divorces. Either spouse can receive alimony if they cannot meet reasonable financial needs or maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while married without their partner’s assets or income.

Automatic Award or Exclusion from Alimony: Illicit Sexual Behavior

State laws vary about how extramarital affairs can impact a divorce. In North Carolina, dependent spouses who participate in an act of “illicit sexual behavior” are barred from receiving alimony. The court will not award alimony if the act or acts occurred during the marriage and before the date of separation. Even illicit sexual behavior on the date of separation can prevent a dependent spouse, who would otherwise be eligible, from receiving alimony.

Marital misconduct also impacts the family, and supporting spouse. If a court finds the supporting spouse participated in illicit sexual behavior while married, they will order them to pay alimony to the dependent spouse.

Other types of marital misconduct that can impact alimony payments in Winston-Salem divorces cases include:

  • Physical or emotional abandonment
  • Criminal acts that cause separation between partners
  • Hiding or destroying assets
  • Reckless spending
  • Alcohol or drug abuse that harms the other spouse
  • Forcing the other spouse out of the house
  • Refusing to provide food, shelter, and money to the other spouse when they need support

Whether you are the supporting or dependent spouse, a Winston-Salem alimony lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you on whether marital misconduct impacts the amount of alimony you pay or receive.

Other Factors that Impact Alimony Awards

North Carolina has no laws that stipulate how much money the court can award for alimony, so awards vary greatly among cases. As mentioned above, the courts consider marital misconduct, but they also look at several other factors when determining whether or not someone pays or receives alimony. These factors include:

  • Income and earning capacity of each spouse
  • Age, physical, and mental conditions of each spouse
  • Health insurance, savings, and retirement accounts of both spouses
  • Length of the marriage
  • Support or contribution towards the education or training of one spouse from the other
  • Cost of caring for a minor child or children
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Education level of each spouse and the time it takes the other spouse to get training or seek employment
  • Assets and liabilities of each spouse
  • The property that each person brought into the marriage
  • Relative needs of each party
  • Tax consequences of a specific award amount

Your Winston-Salem alimony lawyer can review your case and determine the extent to which these factors impact your alimony payments or award. Also, keep in mind that spouses who are awarded alimony do not need to accept an award. If you wish to decline alimony, your alimony lawyer can argue that position for you.

Modifying Alimony Payments

Depending on the situation, you might be able to petition the court to modify alimony payments. It’s rare for the dependent spouse to ask for an amendment and even rarer for the court to award more money. In most cases, a petition for modification must come from the supporting spouse who is making alimony payments. Yet, the dependent spouse could have a reason to request a modification.


However, judges do not simply reduce or increase payments without consideration. Amendments typically only occur if either parent has had a substantial and material change of circumstances. For example, a living situation, job, earning capacity, or other economic factors must have changed. If you want to amend an already existing alimony award, your Winston-Salem alimony lawyer can review your case and advise you on the likelihood of a court granting your request.

Contact the Experienced Winston-Salem Alimony Attorneys at King Law Today

Divorce is unpleasant even in the most amicable situations. The discussion of money and alimony is not only emotionally charged but can be emotionally draining. Without a Winston-Salem alimony lawyer on your side, you risk paying more than you should or not receiving the money you deserve after divorce. A Winston-Salem alimony lawyer takes the emotion out of the equation and can protect your rights through a divorce or help you seek a modification, if necessary.

King Law has been helping couples dissolve their marriages for more than two decades. Our experienced and compassionate legal team understands the challenges couples face and has the knowledge and resources to help them through disputes surrounding alimony.  Contact the experienced Winston-Salem alimony attorneys at King Law at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form to discuss the details of your divorce. 

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