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North Carolina Alimony Laws

In North Carolina, either party in a divorce may be awarded post-divorce spousal support. A family court may also order alimony for a longer term. Alimony is the payment of support of a former spouse, on a periodic basis (generally monthly) or in a lump sum. Judges may use many factors, including age, health, and ability to enter the workforce, when determining alimony provisions. If one spouse has a history of domestic violence or criminal conviction, their chances of receiving alimony will be reduced.

In order for a spouse to be awarded alimony, the Court must find the following:

  • The spouse seeking alimony is the dependent spouse;
  • The spouse from whom alimony is sought is the supporting spouse; and
  • The award of alimony is equitable, after considering the factors, as enumerated in the statute.

Our Charlotte alimony lawyers are experienced in seeking alimony for clients and defending against such claims in surrounding areas of North Carolina. Call us today!

What is Post-Separation Support (PSS)?

PSS is, in effect, temporary alimony. Post-separation support is the spousal support paid after the date of separation and prior to the determination of alimony made by the Court, an alimony claim is denied by the judge, or an out-of-court agreement is reached.

In order for a spouse to be awarded post-separation support in North Carolina, the Court must find the following:

  • The spouse seeking post-separation support is the dependent spouse
  • The spouse from whom post-separation support is sought is the supporting spouse
  • The dependent spouse does not have the resources to meet his or her needs
  • The supporting spouse has the ability to pay post-separation support to the dependent spouse

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 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.

Factors That Determine Alimony in NC

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

  • Duration of marriage
  • Each spouses earning potential
  • Gross monthly income of each person
  • Mental and emotional condition of spouse
  • Domestic violence during the marriage
  • Needs of each spouse
  • Tax ramifications for receiving alimony
  • One’s ability to pay alimony
  • Standard of living while in the marriage

Other options are an agreement between the two on alimony payments or a buy-out to halt monthly payments. 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.

How Long Do I Have to be Separated before Filing for Divorce?

In North Carolina, in order to file for divorce spouses must be separated for one year and have no martial misconduct. 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.

Our Charlotte alimony attorneys at Jetton & Meredith help separated spouses seek and obtain post-separation support during the separation period and represent spouses seeking alimony provisions as part of their divorce decrees.*

Compassionate Legal Assistance for Alimony Matters in NC

Many of our clients have benefited from the relationships we have established with professional experts such as tax professionals.* Such professionals can advise people approaching divorce on what the consequences of different spousal support agreements may be. Is it to your advantage to concede more assets such as real estate to your spouse rather than to pay alimony? Our Charlotte alimony lawyers can help you discover the answers to such questions before a divorce decree is finalized.

Spousal support payments can have a significant impact on your life following a divorce. Experienced lawyers with a strong understanding of state laws may be able to argue that a spouse needs financial support to maintain a certain quality of life, or that a spouse does not need alimony. Trust the compassionate family law attorneys at Jetton & Meredith to fight for your rights.*

Contact us today at (704) 931-5535 to discuss your situation with our Charlotte alimony attorneys.

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