Written by Jonathan Breeden
When you are going through or thinking about a divorce, your mind may turn to alimony. Spousal support is a serious issue, particularly if your spouse makes more money or you have been a stay-at-home parent for years. You may truly need alimony to get on your feet or maintain your and your children’s lifestyle after a divorce.
With these concerns in mind, it may seem like a good idea to turn to an online alimony calculator. But, there are many issues with these tools. They are highly inaccurate and may give you a false sense of confidence. Instead of looking at an amount that might be nowhere near what you should expect, call an experienced North Carolina alimony attorney.
You might be wondering “how bad could an alimony calculator be?” The truth is, they can be completely out of the ballpark. There are far too many factors when determining alimony to create a simple formula.
Five specific reasons for why you should not trust an alimony calculator are:
You can go online and use a generic calculator, but there is not currently a North Carolina calculator. You will put in as few as two factors, typically income and the duration of the marriage, or more than a dozen factors before a calculator spits out a number.
But, this does you little good because you have yet to determine whether you are entitled to temporary or permanent alimony at all. Before you consider how much spousal support you deserve, you have to figure out if a judge is likely to grant or deny it. That is something only an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney can help you with.
When a North Carolina judge decides if and how much alimony should be awarded, there are more than a dozen factors to consider. These factors include the age and health of the parties, the education and training of the parties, the time it will take you to be self-sufficient, the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, your spouse’s ability to pay, and any infidelity during the marriage.
It is not possible for an online calculator to take all of these circumstances into account, particularly because many cannot be translated into a numerical value. Learn more about how alimony is really calculated below:
When you fill out an alimony calculator, you most likely do not have enough or reliable information. Even if a calculator does account for some relevant factors, and monetizes the non-numerical ones, you still probably do not have all of the information you need.
This is not your fault. There is just no way for you to know these factors until you speak with an attorney or financial professional.
There is a significant factor you must prepare for in your fight for alimony: the judge’s discretion. Whether or not you are entitled to temporary or long-term financial support largely depends on the judge’s review of the circumstances and their belief in whether alimony is necessary for an equitable resolution to the divorce.
One of the things your lawyer will work on is proving to the judge that alimony is necessary and appropriate.
When it comes to preparing for whether you may obtain alimony or not, and if so, how much, your attorney will look at typical outcomes within your state and region. How spousal support is usually handled in one county may differ from another. Additionally, how each judge deals with requests for spousal support can differ.
A local attorney can account for all of these through research and real-world experience, and offer you a much more realistic opinion.
When you are preparing for a divorce and its financial repercussions, you need the knowledge and experience of attorney Jonathan Breeden. He has extensive experience in family matters like divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Jonathan will carefully review your situation and give you an honest opinion regarding your right to alimony, a potential duration, and amount.