It depends on what obligates you to pay her presently. If you are paying pursuant to a separation agreement, you may not be able to do anything about your obligation at this point. If you are paying pursuant to a court order, you may be able to modify it if circumstances have changed since the order was entered. If there is no document binding you to pay the amounts you are paying now, then you should have a lawyer re-examine your payments, because they are likely too much. On your own, you can check our child support calculator to find the appropriate amount of child support. Follow this link: http://www.rosen.com/ppf/ID/56/issues.asp
If your wife has committed adultery, you probably should not be obligated to pay her any alimony. If you do have to pay alimony, the amount you would pay should be determined based on your ability to pay, and you should not have to deplete your entire financial resources each month to provide alimony to her. The bottom line is that you should see an attorney to determine the status of your obligations and whether they can and should be modified.

Lara Stanford Davis
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.


I will make this as short as I can…in April of 2000, I went to Venezuela for work, and took my wife and 2 children, the job lasted until October of 2001. In June of 2001, my wife left me and the children for a man she had met there. When the job was over, because of the company policies and VE laws, we had to all leave together. My wife and the children went to our home in NC, and I went on to another job in Louisiana. My wife was mostly a stay-at-home mother, other than a few times when she, (very capably) acquired work at one of my job sites (I am a construction superintendent). She also had earned quite a substantial income (sales of over $100,000 per year) selling AVON before we went to VE. Since we returned from VE, she has not worked, and I have been paying the $1400.00 a month mortgage for the house in NC, PLUS at least $400.00 per week for “child support”, PLUS most utilities at the house in NC, PLUS all medical expenses for the children (including orthodontics), and they are usually with me in the summer when the only thing I don’t pay is the $400+ per week. This is what she led me to believe I was responsible for and I never checked it out. Meanwhile, I am living paycheck to paycheck with all my personal bills in collection. In fact, I was out of work for 2 months and had to give her my 96 Camero in exchange for child support. She received an inheritence from her grandmother, (she did not disclose to me how much), which she uses to pay her credit card bills and the electric and gas bill at the home in NC. Anyway, all that still isn’t enough for her, and she is constantly telling me how I am making the children suffer because I can’t give her more money. My monthly gross income is $6900.00, which represents 6 days a week, 10 hours a day, and $40 a day per diem. I need to find a lawyer, and the only reason I haven’t yet is because I haven’t had the money. What I really need to know is what am I legally obligated to pay her?