Money can become a sore point during marriage, as well as during a divorce. It can become especially sore if there is a significant difference in income. You may wonder how that difference will affect the outcome of your divorce.
Remember: Your income is marital property
North Carolina follows the guidelines of equitable distribution in the event of a divorce. Therefore, you and your ex-spouse must divide your marital assets equitably, not necessarily equally.
Since your income is indeed a marital asset, it is likely your ex-spouse could receive a portion of it in the property division settlement. Of course, this settlement is a negotiation. You must consider all of your marital assets during division, not just your income.
Will you have to pay alimony?
This is a common concern if you earn more than your spouse. However, alimony does not only depend on your income. North Carolina law illustrates that it depends on various factors. These factors help determine:
- If your ex-spouse is “dependent” on you
- Both spouses’ overall contributions to the household during the marriage
- Your ex-spouse’s earning power after the divorce
That being said, alimony could be a factor in your divorce, especially after a longer marriage. While the answer to the alimony question relies on factors individual to your case, it should be something you take time to understand as you approach a divorce.
Still prepare for post-divorce finances
Regardless of how much money you earn – or how much you have in the bank – you should still take steps to prepare your budget for the divorce. Your financial situation will likely change after the property division and the finalization of the divorce. You may have to grow accustomed to living off only your income and in a single home.
Therefore, you cannot simply rely on your income alone. It will help to calculate the costs of living against your post-divorce finances. This will help you protect your financial health, and move forward with a plan after divorce.