Alimony based on percentage of net income?

Hi there,

My wife and I are going through an amicable divorce, and we are trying to be as fair to each other as possible. I’m confused as to how alimony is calculated and the duration. She has been out of the job market for 10 years, but wants to rejoin. She has a Master’s degree and a good work history before staying home with our son. My income is variable and highly dependent on commissions. I have 2 questions.

  1. Is there a standard percentage of net income that we should use to calculate alimony?

  2. If we are tying to do this ourselves and want to come to an agreement, is there an average duration for alimony payments? We were married for 16 years. I’d like to be fair to her as well. If we both agreed to a duration, such as 3 years, would that be acceptable in our divorce/agreement?

  1. There is not a standard percentage of income that is used to calculate alimony. North Carolina does not have a set formula in determining alimony amounts. Instead, North Carolina has 16 factors that are taken into consideration when awarding alimony and determining the amount and the duration.

Check out our alimony calculator to give you an idea of what alimony in your situation might look like:

For your reference, you can find the 16 alimony factors here: … g-alimony/

  1. There is no average duration for alimony in North Carolina - it is decided on a case-by-case basis. Since you and your wife are in an amicable divorce, the two of you can set alimony at whatever duration you both agree. Three years would be acceptable, although for a 16 year marriage we tend to see alimony duration for longer than this. Of course, the fact that your wife wants to enter the job market again may play into your agreement as to the duration of alimony.