Question:  I have been married for 12 years to my husband.  He only works part-time.  Will I owe him alimony and if so how much and for how long?  – Worried About Money

Dear Worried About Money:

Alimony (and it’s kissing cousin Post Separation Support) are paid by a spouse that earns more to a spouse that earns less.  It does not matter if you are a husband or wife, the statute does not consider gender.  Based solely on what you wrote, yes you may owe alimony.

Now, the rest of your question is difficult.  In some NC counties there are alimony calculators or formulas, but we do not use one here.  The judge looks at the reasonable needs of both parties based off of their budgets and incomes which they provide on financial affidavits to the court.  The court may consider why your spouse is not employed full-time and can even impute him with income.  If he is imputed with income, then the court treats him as if he is actually earning that amount.  In that case, he may earn enough of imputed income that you would not owe him any alimony.  Before you agree to anything, go and at least meet with an attorney and find out what they think about your specific situation.  You could end up paying for years, so make sure the amount is correct.  You could also end up not paying at all.  That is more than enough reason to meet with an attorney.  Best of luck!

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