In many relationships, one spouse may be dependent on the other for financial support. In North Carolina, there are two types of spousal support: Postseparation Support and Alimony.
Postseparation Support is temporary spousal support intended to provide support for the dependent spouse until a final decision is made about property distribution and permanent alimony.
Alimony is a payment made to support a spouse or former spouse that is court-ordered during a divorce. Alimony payments can be made periodically or in a lump sum, for a period specified by the court, or for an indefinite period of time. The amount and duration of an alimony award will be determined based upon the income and expenses of both parties.
How Alimony is Determined in North Carolina
To determine alimony in North Carolina, the court considers whether an award of alimony is fair and equitable considering the circumstances. The court will also consider several other factors when determining alimony.
Shannan Barclay Tuorto is an alimony lawyer in Asheville, North Carolina that can help you navigate this process.
FAQ: Alimony & Post-Separation Support in North Carolina
What is Alimony?
Alimony is a payment made to support a spouse or former spouse that has been financially dependent during the marriage. The “supporting spouse” pays alimony to the “dependent spouse.” The dependent spouse may be the husband or wife, and is typically financially dependent on the other spouse. Alimony payments can be made periodically or in a lump sum. The amount and duration of an alimony award will be determined based upon the income and expenses of both parties.
How does the court determine Alimony?
Alimony in North Carolina is determined by the court, based on the following fifteen statutory factors:
- The marital misconduct of either of the spouses,
- The relative earnings and earning capacity of the spouses,
- The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses,
- The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others,
- The duration of the marriage,
- The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse,
- The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child,
- The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage,
- The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs,
- The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support,
- The property brought to the marriage by either spouse,
- The contribution of a spouse as homemaker,
- The relative needs of the spouses,
- The federal, state, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award, and
- Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.
What is considered to be marital misconduct?
- Illicit sexual behavior; voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse
- Involuntary separation of the spouses in consequence of a criminal act committed prior to the proceeding in which alimony is sought
- Abandonment of the other spouse
- Malicious turning out-of-doors of the other spouse
- Cruel or barbarous treatment endangering the life of the other spouse
- Indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome
- Reckless spending of the income of either party, or the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of assets
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome
- Willful failure to provide necessary subsistence according to one’s means and condition so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome.