Alimony after a long separation

Going such a long period of time after separation without receiving alimony diminishes your ability to show that you need alimony. Your chances might be improved if you have sought alimony but your spouse has refused to provide any support, and you can show that you have suffered financial problems as a result, for example, that you have survived only by running up credit cards and going deep into debt. Amount of alimony is notoriously difficult to predict; generally, the amount will be determined in consideration of your reasonable financial needs, your income, your spouse’s reasonable needs, and his or her consequent ability to pay.

Lara Stanford Davis
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I have two questions about alimony:

  1. Does a long separation (almost 4 years) have any effect on whether a dependent spouse will receive alimony? I do not receive post separation support now. My spouse earns 58,000 annually and I earn about 8100. I am concerned that if I have to go to court, a judge would think that I don’t need alimony because I did not request it soon after separation. We have one child and the marriage lasted 10 years.

  2. Given the disparity in our incomes, how much would be considered “fair” (by the court/judge) when deciding on the amount of alimony?