Non-working spouse


#1

Her not working will not affect property distribution - typically property will be divided equally regardless of dependency or marital fault. Rights she would have as a non-working spouse would, however, be relevant to alimony. As a dependent spouse in a case where you have committed marital misconduct she is almost certainly guaranteed alimony. It may be possible to impute some income to her in an amount that she could be earning to adjust the amount of alimony in your favor.

Amy K. Kirkhum
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

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.


#2

The first question here is whether your spouse will qualify as a dependant spouse. The definition of a dependant spouse under statute 50-16.1A(2) is “a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.” Some factors that a court would likely take into consideration is your wife’s level of education, length of time out of the work force and length of the marriage. A judge would evaluate you and your wife’s relative earning capacity. In other words, if, based upon her education and work experience she would still make significantly less than you earn, a judge may order alimony payments to bridge the gap.

The fact that you have committed marital misconduct (adultery) is going to be a factor in determining alimony payments. When the supporting spouse has committed marital misconduct, the judge must order alimony payments to be made to the dependent spouse. There is no precise formula for determining the amount or length of alimony payments. There are also a few exceptions, such as if the dependent spouse committed marital misconduct also.

The marital misconduct is not likely to affect the equitable division of your property. However, a differential in your income and/or earning potential may.

Robin F. Verhoeven
Attorney at Law
Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

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.


#3

What special rights does a non-working spouse have in division of property or alimony? My wife CAN work, she just elects not to. I am the sole provider and our divorce is due to my infidelity.