Even if you and your spouse agree that divorce is the right option, you may find yourself worrying about the future. These worries can often center around your finances, and how you can support yourself as you move forward on your own. You may hear about collecting alimony after a divorce, but how do you know if you can file for it?
Consider these two questions
As we have discussed in previous blog posts, getting a divorce does not automatically mean you can obtain alimony. You must first make sure you are eligible and then file a claim for alimony – or negotiate an alimony agreement with your ex-spouse. To determine if you are eligible, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Can you fulfill your financial needs on your own?
- Can you maintain the standard of living you had during the marriage on your own?
If you answer no to these two questions, you could qualify for alimony. Answering the negative is nothing of which to be ashamed. It is common for households to heavily rely on one spouse’s income.
Then, there is one more question to ask
In the event you qualify to file for alimony, there is one more important question to ask yourself: how much did you rely on your spouse’s income? Determining the answer to this question can help you:
- Fully understand your financial standing as an individual after divorce
- Calculate what is necessary to maintain your standard of living
- Create a budget to balance these two factors
North Carolina law outlines specific factors to consider when determining the amount you receive and how long you will receive it. You should evaluate the factors listed under state law in addition to your own calculations of what you will need to obtain the full picture – and prepare yourself financially. After all, a budget and financial strategy are still necessary to support yourself, even if you receive alimony.
Remember, there are many different types of alimony. While the alimony agreement might not have a specific end date, it is rarely permanent. Alimony is designed to provide financial support to aid your newly independent life after divorce. So, you must understand your financial needs as you move forward.