The thought of paying your ex-spouse regular spousal support might trouble you if you fear your finances will not be able to sustain it. However, alimony is not always for life. It is possible that your alimony arrangement will not last as long as you fear.
According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website, there are different factors that influence whether a judge will grant a short or long period of alimony.
The particulars of your case
North Carolina law does not establish any hard and fast standards for a judge to set a time period for alimony. This means a state court will look at the specifics of your case to make a determination.
A judge will want to know that your ex can sustain a good quality of life. Such factors generally include the age, health, and educational level of your spouse. If your marriage did not last long, your spouse may only need a short time to receive alimony, or a judge might not award it at all.
Automatic triggers to end alimony
Even if your judge decides to place a time limit on your alimony period, there are thresholds that could end your alimony sooner than that. Your ex may die before the conclusion of the alimony period, or your former spouse might move in with a significant other or get married again.
Keeping these factors in mind, you might explore options to limit your alimony from the outset. Trading more assets to help your spouse get a good job in a quicker period of time may convince a judge that there is little or no need to award spousal support.