How alimony works in North Carolina

How alimony works in North Carolina

When married couples decide to separate in North Carolina, there are a number of steps they must take before the process can be finalized. One of those steps is determining alimony — or spousal support — payments. This can be a tricky process though and may require the help of a skilled lawyer.

Family law courts here in North Carolina have to a take a lot of things into consideration before they order a spouse to pay alimony. The first thing judges often consider is the conduct of each spouse during the course of the marriage.

If any marital misconduct took place, such as adultery, then the judge may order the offending spouse to pay support to their partner. If both spouses equally partook in marital misconduct then it would be up to the judge’s discretion to determine if alimony payments should be made.

Under state general statutes, there are other things judges will take into consideration too. They are:

  • Duration of marriage
  • Each spouses earning potential
  • Mental and emotional condition of spouse
  • Needs of each spouse
  • Tax ramifications for receiving alimony

After taking these and many other factors into consideration, a family law judge may award alimony to one spouse and order the other spouse to make payments.

It’s worth pointing out that in cases where no martial misconduct has taken place, North Carolina couples must be separated for no less than a year before filing for divorce. During this time, however, a spouse may move for post-separation support. These types of orders provide support to a spouse before an alimony order is made. They may also arise from out-of-court agreements as well.


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