Alimony vs Maintenance/Spousal Support


#1

Married 20 years, 2 teenage children.

  1. If both parties can agree on a Separation Agreement, is the following rough proposal a reasonable start?
    a) All accounts divided 50/50 (retirement and non-retirement)
    b) House equity divided 50/50
    c) Spousal support to follow 1/3-1/3-1/3 formula, with supporting spouse paying to bring dependent spouse to an equal share of after-tax income.
    d) Assuming a 50/50 overnights split of teenage children. (Both Parents actively involved in children’s activities)

  2. Given the above, (where both Spouses now have essentially the same income and share same overnights with children) would Alimony be paid on top of this? There is no infidelity, drug/alcohol/gambling/physical abuse.


#2
  1. If Children’s overnights are split 50/50, and Spousal support equalizes income, would there be Child Support payments as well?

#3

(1) This appears to be a reasonable proposal since the assets are divided equally, custody is divided equally, and spousal support is likely an amount that ensures the dependent spouse maintains his/her standard of living.

(2) Alimony is the spousal support in 1©. Alimony can be paid whether or not there is marital misconduct during a marriage.

(3) Child support may still need to be paid. Spousal support received by the dependent spouse is not considered as income for child support purposes when it is paid by the supporting spouse who is also a parent to the children involved in a child support case.

Check out our Child Support Calculator to determine what child support might be in your situation.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#4

Anna, thanks for your response.

  1. Regarding child support - I ran the Child Support Caclulator, with the income of both spouses being equal, with equal number of overnights, and the resulting monthly child support order was negligible (~$4/mo). If Alimony/Spousal Support is paid (1/3-1/3-1/3) then both parties are now getting the same portion of the total household income. (in essence, both parties now have the same income.) Paying Child Support on top of Alimony would then cause the supporting spouse to have an unequal share of household income. This seems incorrect. Am I missing something?

  2. If my spouse has a pension from an employer, and they worked for a period of time during the marriage, how is their pension payout calculated in terms of ED?


#5

(1) For child support purposes, you cannot include the alimony payments as income for the parent receiving the alimony. Also, when calculating child support, you must use each parent’s monthly gross income - you cannot use the net income. Child support is a complete separate issue from alimony and equitable distribution, and it is not considered a part of the marital estate or a part of the household income.

(2) The marital portion of the pension will need to be valued as of the date of separation. This amount must be included in the total value of the marital estate and factored in when distributing assets and debt to reach an equal distribution between Husband and Wife.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#6

If both parties can agree to a Separation Document outside of court, would a Judge intervene at all, other than to grant the final Divorce?


#7

No, the courts and a judge would not need to be involved in any case where the spouses entered into a separation agreement other than to grant an absolute divorce.

The exception to this is for child custody or child support. A parent may later file for custody and child support despite having the terms in the separation agreement. Typically this happens when a custody schedule or child support amount needs to be changed and the other party will not agree to the change.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.