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A.D. Barnett
A.D. Barnett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 414
Experience:  Attorney since 1994, experienced Divorce Attorney, Child's Attorney, Adoption, Guardian ad Litem
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I have been married for 2 years 2 months and am seperating

Resolved Question:

I have been married for 2 years 2 months and am seperating with my wife.I live in north carolina...will I have to pay alimony...she has not worked since we were married.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  A.D. Barnett replied 5 years ago.
Good afternoon!

In North Carolina, a lot of it depends on whether she is considered a "dependent spouse." The North Carolina law defines a dependent spouse as “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.”

Your concern is whether she can establish financial dependency. Since she has worked before, she probably has some marketable skill that might keep her from showing that she has an economic dependency on you. If the court believes it will take a year or so to get on her feet, then the court could order spousal support for that period of time. If, however, she can get a job tomorrow and maintain a similar standard of living that you had when you were married, the Court couldn't award her anything. If she can show economic dependency, the Court will also consider these things:

The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;

The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the spouses;

The duration of the marriage;

The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;

The relative needs of the spouses;

The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;

The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;

The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child;

The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others;

The marital misconduct of either of the spouses through the date of separation;

The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;

The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;

The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;

The federal, state, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award; and

Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances that the court finds to be just and proper.


As you can see, even if she is economically dependent, there are other considerations that take into account the brief period you were married and the limited contributions she made to the marriage. Unfortunately, unlike child support, there is no hard line as to how much or how long spousal support ever is.

Best of luck! I hope this information was helpful!
A.D. Barnett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 414
Experience: Attorney since 1994, experienced Divorce Attorney, Child's Attorney, Adoption, Guardian ad Litem
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