Alimony and Child Support


#1

My wife and I have been separated for more than 18 months; we have 3 children (2 in elementary school and 1 in day care). One day I saw a check written to an apartment complex and when I asked what it was about, she told me she was leaving. She was gone within the next few days. At the time she owned her own business, but it was not successful and continued to use the money in our joint account to furnish her apartment and pay her bills. Since then she has had some trouble holding down a job (quite her last real job where she made substantially more money than I after we had been separated over a year and some legal troubles cost her the subsequent job). We have no separation agreement and we share custody of our kids (one week with me; one week with her so 50:50 split).

About 4 months ago she called wanting to move back into the house get back together. At this point I had long since given up on reconciliation (this was the first time that she made any attempt in the 16 or so months since she had moved out). She had a boyfriend at the time (for close to 10 months I would say at that point) which really made it easy to stand my ground and say no. She recently moved in with her boyfriend (they have been together over.year now as far as I can tell) and when she has the kids they all stay at the boyfriends.

The time has come to finalize the divorce and she has told me that she will be filing for alimony and child support. Given that she chose to move out while she had her own business that she closed, then quite a well paying job, her personal conduct cost her the subsequent job and now she has moved in with her boyfriend, what grounds does she have for alimony?

As for child support, I know that NC has a calculator that determines what each party will pay. My question is does the state take into consideration things like her quiting a job that paid more than what I make (thereby causing the amount I have to pay to go up) when making the determination? I am more than happy to support my children (I would take them full time), but I don’t understand why I should have to pay more money because she made a decision to make less money. Currently I pay 100% of the kids health care, 100% of the day care, 50% of whatever expenses their money spends for things like clothing and 100% of any expenses that are incurred while I have them.


#2

She is not entitled to alimony if she was not a dependent spouse at the date of separation. The court will look to your incomes at that time, not after separation. Additionally, if the boyfriend was her paramour during marriage, and you can prove this, this would be a complete defense to your having to pay alimony altogether. However, if she started seeing him after separation, then that’s not going to matter.

Child support is calculated based on your incomes at the time it is filed. If she voluntarily quit her job, you might be able to convince a judge that she did so in bad faith, (i.e. to increase the amount of child support you will owe her) and therefore income should be imputed to her at the higher rate.


#3

Can you give me some idea what it would cost for representation? Do you work strictly on an hourly basis or lump sum? Will you work on a payment schedule?

Thank you,


#4

You would need to schedule a consultation with my office to get specific pricing information tailored to your unique facts and circumstances. You can call our main number and dial extension 100 to speak with our client liaision to schedule an appointment. A general idea of our pricing can be found at: www.rosen.com/pricing.