Post-Separation Support & Alimony

Post-Separation Support is support for a spouse for a limited period of time. Alimony is the payment of support or maintenance for a spouse or former spouse for a period of time.

Post-Separation Support is support for a spouse for a short period of time, often pending a determination of alimony. Post-Separation Support is paid only until the earlier of 1) the date specified in an order, 2) the entry of an order awarding or denying alimony, 3) the dismissal of an alimony claim, 4) the entry of a judgment of absolute divorce if no alimony claim is pending when the divorce is entered or 5) until a dependent party engages in cohabitation or remarries.

When ordering postseparation support and alimony, the court must base the amount, if any, of support on the financial needs of the parties taking into consideration the parties’ accustomed standard of living, the present employment income and other recurring earnings of each party, each party’s separate and marital debt service obligations, the expenses reasonably necessary to support each party and, if relevant, each party’s obligations to support other persons.

NCGS §50-16.2A Postseparation Support

NCGS §50-16.3A 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:

  • 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 duration of the marriage;
  • the contribution of one spouse to the education, training or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • 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.
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