In the event of a
divorce or separation, one spouse may be eligible to seek alimony (§ 50-16.3A.)
or postseparation support (§ 50-16.2A.) from the other spouse. In
North Carolina, courts will award spousal support to a dependent spouse.
A dependent spouse is one that earns insufficient income to maintain the
standard of living received during the marriage due to the loss of his
or her spouse’s income.
Still, determining the amount of spousal support can be a complex process
and involves numerous factors assessed by a judge. Because North Carolina
does not follow a specific set of alimony guidelines based on numerical
formulas, spousal support cannot be determined with an alimony calculator.
Instead, a judge will consider the following:
(1) The marital misconduct of either of the spouses. Nothing herein shall
prevent a court from considering incidents of post date-of-separation
marital misconduct as corroborating evidence supporting other evidence
that marital misconduct occurred during the marriage and prior to date
of separation; (2) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the
spouses; (3) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions
of the spouses; (4) 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;
(5) The duration of the marriage; (6) The contribution by one spouse to
the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
(7) 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; (8) The standard of living of the spouses established during
the marriage; (9) 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;
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative
debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations
of support; (11) The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker; (13) The relative needs
of the spouses; (14) The federal, State, and local tax ramifications of
the alimony award; (15) Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances
of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper. (16) The fact
that income received by either party was previously considered by the
court in determining the value of a marital or divisible asset in an equitable
distribution of the parties' marital or divisible property.
What constitutes “reasonable necessities” depends on lifestyles
established during a marriage and can vary based on numerous circumstances.
To avoid complex situations, divorcing and separating couples should seek
legal counsel from a knowledgeable Charlotte family law attorney.
Understanding the Difference Between Postseparation Support and Alimony
In North Carolina, there are two different types of spousal support –
postseparation support and alimony.
This is the monthly amount of money that a supporting spouse pays to a
dependent spouse. This can include the costs of mortgage payments, medical
coverage, vehicle use, and other necessities. This type of financial assistance
is only temporary and concludes:
- On the date specified in the order
- Upon entry of an order that either awards or denies alimony
- In the event that a claim for alimony is dismissed
- Upon entry of judgment for absolute divorce, provided that no alimony claim
is currently pending
- If postseparation support is terminated due to a G.S. 50-16.9(b) modification
This type of spousal support is typically awarded by the court to a dependent
spouse for a period of time that is lengthier than the award of postseparation
support. The duration of alimony depends on a wide range of factors including
the length of the marriage. If alimony is awarded for the lifetime of
a dependent spouse, a supporting spouse may be able to petition the court
to modify the award if circumstances change. Alimony can take the form
of periodic payments or as a lump sum, for either a specified term (temporary)
Facing Issues Related to Divorce? Contact Dummit Fradin Today
If you are contemplating divorce or are facing alimony- related matters,
we urge you to call
our Charlotte family law attorneys at Dummit Fradin right away. In every case, we take an honest and straightforward
approach and work diligently to establish a partnership with our clients.
When you entrust your case with our legal team, we will advise you on
the best strategy to help you pursue positive results as soon as possible.
Discuss your case with a Charlotte family lawyer today. Dummit Fradin can help you make
strategic and informed decisions!