FAMILY LAWPostseparation Support & Alimony

Postseparation Support is support for a spouse for a limited period of time.

Postseparation Support is a temporary spousal support amount (temporary alimony) paid from the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse.  Alimony is a final award of spousal support paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse.  There are no alimony guidelines in North Carolina, but generally support is paid by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse for half the length of the marriage subject to the reasonable needs and expenses of the dependent spouse and the supporting spouse’s ability to pay.  Acts of marital misconduct may be considered in increasing the amount of spousal support paid or in barring an alimony award.

Are You Entitled to Alimony?

A person may be entitled to alimony in the event he or she is a “dependent spouse” and their spouse is a “supporting spouse” as those terms are defined by statute.

In determining the amount of alimony, the court must consider a variety of factors including:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The contribution of one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • Whether there has been marital misconduct (as marital misconduct is defined by NCGS §50-16.1A);
  • The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties;
  • The ages and physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses;
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
  • The relative education of the spouses;
  • The relative assets and liabilities and debt service requirements of the spouses;
  • The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
  • The contributions of a spouse as a homemaker
  • The relative needs of the parties; and
  • The tax ramifications of an alimony award.