Alimony & Vehicle

I am current the only working spouse and have been for the last 3 years, which is also the length of our marriage.

We’re currently separated and she’s been staying in the home, which I pay for and I also have her on my health insurance and pay for her car insurance.

I currently have many expenses, maintaining the mortgage current, my current rent, my personal expenses, and about $20,000.00 in credit card debt acquired throughout the marriage, even though she was only an authorized user on the account.

What is the guideline for alimony, my gross salary or net salary? Do they take into account all my expenses including the debt that I am willing to fully inherit? Can this debt be leveraged to soften the alimony blow or not?

Would the judge look at the months I’ve paid the mortgage, her insurance, and her health insurance and the time up to when I paid the utilities and consider that alimony? Or would alimony apply only after the divorce is final and I’d have a few more years of it?

My second question - The vehicle she is currently driving, was purchased before our marriage and the title and registration are in my name. In the event she is in an accident, who would be liable? Should I request that she return the car to me until we can settle? Should I remove the tags from the vehicle? Any advise would be appreciated.

Thank you.

You can look at the alimony calculator on our website to get an idea of what your obligation may be based on other state guidelines, but there are no set guidelines for the calculation of alimony in North Carolina. The court looks at the dependent spouse’s need versus the supporting spouse’s ability to pay in addition to 16 factors when making a determination of the amount and duration of alimony.

A judge will certainly take into consideration any support you give your spouse, even if it is not court ordered, so keep track of anything you do for her. If you provide support consistently, that should be an argument that the court that the duration of alimony, if ordered, should be lessened by the support given voluntarily.

As for the car, I would not advise removing the tag or taking the car back without an agreement as that might escalate the matter to litigation. You should discuss this with your spouse so you come up with a solution that she gets a car of her own, in her name, with her own insurance.