Back in September, we answered a question sometimes asked by divorcing spouses in Raleigh and across North Carolina. The question was this: how long do I have to pay my spouse alimony? As we explained in that blog post, family law judges in our state have discretion when ordering alimony payments. They can either choose to award temporary alimony or permanent alimony. It's the latter of these two options that we'd like to take a closer look at in today's post.
As you may have figured out from its name, permanent alimony continues indefinitely until a modification is made to the court order for alimony or until either spouse dies, whichever comes first. It's in the opinion of many people throughout the nation that this is the biggest pitfall of permanent alimony. It tethers a divorced spouse to their ex for the rest of their life or until a judge says otherwise. Many see a problem with this, which is why advocates in some states are pushing for legal reforms that would do away with permanent alimony or have already done so.