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Here's my thread from coping with infidelity:

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/coping-infidelity/46919-6-months-r-3.html

I've had enough and told her I can't stay with the marriage. She doesn't work full time and hasn't over the past few years, but her earning potential if she did work full time is ~85% of mine. As it stands right now, her current hours yields ~68-69% of my income.

Anyway, we have finally started talking about money. She says she is going to ask me for alimony despite her being the cheating spouse. The lawyer I spoke with said something like "since you took her back and tried to make it work, this could be seen as condoning her actions" - which means I have a financial obligated to her. I think this is ridiculous. I am being penalized for trying to make my marriage work.

I am in NC - which requires 1 year separation before divorcing - and there are no hard written rules about alimony expectations. We don't have a ton of assets so I would imagine we would blow way more money on lawyers if we decided to let a judge decided. Is this accurate? Can anyone steer me the right way?

She told me that she expects her standard of living to remain the same - which I don't see how it can. We are dividing our assets and income. How would you expect a similar level of savings, spending and so forth when you double the bills?

Anyone care to chime in? I need to figure out what is reasonable. I'm not trying to short her - I just don't think she should get any of my income.

In an effort to try to minimize our lawyer costs, I told her that I am ok with her hiring a lawyer to draft a separation agreement and me paying a lawyer (much less) to review it with me. I guess that could end up being more money than I expect. Is there a fair but less costly way to approach this?
 

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Sounds to me like pay a lawyer now or pay her later are your options.

I am in the middle yet so no real good answer sorry. I know my wife has gone from I don't care about this stuff to I want paid big time. I suggest getting a lawyer ASAP. And if she agrees to anything get it in writing. We had agreed to keep the kids out of this mess but now I think she wants half of their savings too.
 

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random,
NC is a no fault state so her adultery will have no bearing on alimony. NC laws, like here in VA, don't spell out a formula to calculate spousal support unlike child support where there are tables and formulas. The judge has a wide discretion in calculating it. It does take a year to separate and divorce in NC but when you physically separate, she can take you to court for temporary spousal support right away. It sounds like she knows her stuff and knows the system.

When that hearing day does arrive, her income potential will be taken into consideration when calculating the final figure. Her simply not working will NOT mean her income is zero for spousal support calculations. Income can be imputed to her at her earning potential. There are some caveats to this so a good attorney will help you navigate this.

As for her expecting the same standard of living post separation, tell her to shove it. Standard of living for ALL PARTIES goes down right after a divorce and for some, never recovers.
 
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