North Carolina is a great place. The weather is relatively nice with no real extremes for any length of time. You can visit the mountains and the coast. The Charlotte and Triangle areas are filled with great schools and business opportunities. The people are a good mix of natives and transplants from all over the country(and other countries as well). North Carolina is still the South however with deep religious and family oriented beliefs. Many of our laws were made and still exist based on these beliefs that sadly have disappeared in too many places in our country. The necessity of some of these laws are often questioned as modern society evolves into one where what family means has drastically changed and divorce and the bad behavior that comes with it becomes more accepted.
If you have a car accident you will likely deal with the issue of Contributory Negligence. North Carolina is one of the few States that still has that doctrine and significant work has been done to try and eliminate it in our State with no luck. If you are in the Family Law arena, you are going be more concerned with the doctrine of Alienation of Affection and how it might play into the end of your relationship. We are one of the few States that has this doctrine as well. Whether you agree with it or not you need to be aware of how it might apply to your behavior or your spouses during your marriage with such behavior possibly adding an extra twist to the financial aspect of your divorce. Adultery, Alimony, and Alienation of Affection can all be tied together with extreme financial ramification for you, your spouse, and even the third party who may have caused your marriage to end.
You don't need to be an expert on family law or human behavior to know that adultery can destroy and is a big reason why marriages come to an end. You can have an opinion on why cheating exists but if you believe your spouse is cheating on you, there are steps you need to take to find out about it before you drop any hint of divorce or separation to your spouse. Getting real proof of infidelity can save you money or give you a potential claim against the party involved with your spouse.
If you are the bread winner for your family and have been married for any length of time, if your spouse has not worked outside the home since the marriage and has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle she cannot create on her own, Alimony is an option for the Judge. Alimony is designed to help get the dependent spouse back on track financially because he or she has to get back into the work force, or the marriage was for so long that he or she become accustomed to a certain way of life that even if she got a job, she would not be living as well as you do. The reality is that in most cases it is the man that is paying the woman alimony. Its a big kick in the face to have to split up with someone, often through no fault or no choice of your own, and on top of the property settlement and child support, you will be ordered to pay monthly alimony for a period of time on top of that which is determined by various factors but is basically at the whim of a Judge who could add a bit extra to the award because your attitude is bad. In some states, if you are married for a certain length of time, alimony can be for life even when there are no kids. North Carolina law allows for alimony and while lawyers will tell you that the time frame for alimony is determined based on the length of the marriage, unlike child support, it is a wild card where the Judge has real leeway on what he or she can order.
I have seen a Judge award years of alimony to a college educated woman who was about 40 years old and could get a job selling ice to eskimos with ease because of her looks and personality. Employment would not be hard for her to obtain. The husband was mad because in addition to the alimony he had to pay, the Judge did not order any amount of income to be allocated to the wife when child support was calculated so basically the wife didn't have to work for years, took her time to retrain for a new job while living a life of leisure, and got alimony on top of it. As bad as this may sound, the ordered amount for alimony could have been worse for that guy as there are men that get forced to pay years of alimony in significant monthly amounts.
The validity and purpose of alimony aside, if you can avoid paying it you want to do so if you can. If you are the spouse who is likely to be the one to be stuck paying it, the way to eliminate it is to catch your spouse cheating. If you think your wife wouldn't cheat on you because you are awesome in and out of the bedroom, you are walking through life with blinders on. Factor in that women are also much better than men at hiding their transgressions and you have many marriages where the husband was the only one who didn't know the wife was cheating. If your wife is not happy with you, she will cheat and assuming she wont because she acts like Susie homemaker or is not into sex with you any longer is just naïve. Finding out after the fact or years later does you little to no good because you have paid or agreed to pay her already. You need to look for the signs of your spouse cheating and document it once the option of divorce is on the table. This could be her hiding or guarding her phone like its her most prized possession. There are more "girls night" dates. She has a new hobby or activity that places her around men like working at a gym or tanning salon. I could make a list of the signs. Get documentation she cheated on you and her alimony option goes away. Talk to your lawyer about what to look for to see if your spouse might be cheating and the economics and legal requirements of how to prove it. Awareness as a man is vital and preparation early on is how you win this battle or atleast give you the piece of mind that maybe your spouse was honorable atleast in that area even if she did not want to be with you any longer.
Whenever infidelity exits in a marriage in North Carolina, the doctrine of Alienation of Affection can be in play. This is where you as the spouse who was cheated on, can sue the person who caused your spouse to cheat on you with them. Its the ultimate revenge but its a law when created to discourage families from breaking up. We have had huge financial sums awarded in North Carolina against people who someone like your spouse may have cheated with. This doctrine is not so simple that you can sue anyone who may have had an affair with your spouse. There are specific factors which must be proven to show that a person came into your close to perfect marriage and persuaded your spouse to cheat causing a good marriage to end. Talk to your lawyer about what is required to be proven but understand that if you are involved in infidelity, it can cost you, your spouse, or even someone who helped break up your solid marriage.
Tread carefully and aggressively gentlemen. Don't let your wife get away with cheating if alimony for her is an option and don't be so stupid to do things with married women which could cause your ass to get sued.
The Red Devil