Alimony has a long history. There are references to it dating back to the Code of Hammurabi.
Splitting up and dividing your assets can leave you facing a completely different financial situation than the one you were accustomed to during the marriage, which is where alimony can help. Yet nowadays, it does not seem to be so common when spouses divorce.
Alimony is actually rare
Many sources may lead you to believe that alimony is a common aspect of divorces, but it is not. As of 2015, Reuters reported that only about 10% of divorce cases in the country involve alimony.
Here are two more critical things you should know about alimony if you are approaching divorce:
1. Support is usually temporary
It is common for spousal support payments to have an end date. Under North Carolina law, types of temporary support include:
- Postseparation support, which is financial support paid before the divorce or during the separation period
- Rehabilitative alimony, which is paid for a particular time period after divorce just to help the other spouse regain their financial footing, so to speak
In this day and age, it is rare for courts to implement permanent alimony orders. The order or agreement will often establish a temporary period of payment.
It is also worth noting that temporary alimony is not automatic either, as we have discussed in previous blog posts. You must file the proper paperwork to request alimony.
2. It is more common after long-term marriages
A longer marriage generally means spouses have more time to earn money and accrue marital assets. In turn, dividing a significant amount of marital assets can have a much larger impact on a spouse’s standard of living. This is why it is more common for people divorcing over 50 to file for alimony.
Even in this situation, alimony is not guaranteed. There are many factors to consider, with financial differences, the length of the marriage and standard of living only being a few. You must make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your finances as you go through divorce, so you can consider your options carefully to support your future.