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Raleigh Post-Separation Support Attorneys

Johnston County PSS Attorneys

Lawyers in Wake County for Temporary Alimony Orders

When you make the decision to pursue a divorce, you are undoubtedly looking ahead to a happier, healthier future. However, before you can get there, you will need to complete the divorce process first. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure how long the proceedings will take to finalize. As a result, you may be waiting quite a while to receive your share of the marital property or to have an order for alimony entered by the court. In the meantime, your life goes on, and you will have expenses that you need to cover. This can be especially problematic if your spouse was the primary wage-earner in your household.

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the challenges that you might be facing as the lower-earning spouse during your divorce. We also realize that North Carolina law offers you the ability to petition for temporary financial help while your divorce is pending. This help is known as "post-separation support" or PSS, and our lawyers are equipped to help you obtain it. With more than 35 years of family law experience, we know how hard divorce can be, and we will do everything we can to ensure you have the resources you need to begin moving forward with your life.

Understanding Post-Separation Support in North Carolina

If you and your spouse have not reached an agreement regarding your request for alimony, the matter will need to be decided by the court. Depending on court schedules, however, it may take up to a year or longer before your alimony trial is held. Meanwhile, your expenses of daily living have not stopped, and in fact, you may be responsible for even more now that you and your spouse are no longer together.

With this in mind, North Carolina offers an expedited process through which the court can order a higher-earning spouse—called the "supporting spouse"—to make monthly support payments to the lower-earning spouse—called the "dependent spouse." In most cases, a post-separation support hearing can be held within four to six weeks of filing a verified pleading seeking such support.

Differences Between PSS and Alimony

Post-separation support can perhaps best be described as temporary alimony. As with alimony, the court will consider all of the circumstances of your marriage and divorce to determine your need for PSS. There are, however, some important differences between PSS and alimony, the most significant of which is the role that "illicit sexual behavior" will play in the proceedings. In an alimony case, illicit sexual behavior, including marital infidelity, by the dependent spouse before the date of separation will generally bar the recovery of alimony for the dependent spouse. If the supporting spouse is guilty of such behavior, he or she is statutorily required to pay alimony.

In a PSS case, illicit sexual behavior can be considered by the court, along with other forms of marital misconduct, but it does not create any automatic rulings. Instead, it is just one of the many factors the court will take into account when deciding whether to award PSS, as well as when determining how much is to be paid.

The other main difference is that a post-separation support order will have a predetermined termination clause. The court could order PSS to last for a specific amount of time, often 12 or 18 months, or the court could decide that the order should remain in effect until the alimony trial is held.

Protecting Your Rights in Johnston County

At the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys have helped many dependent spouses obtain orders for post-separation support. We also work with supporting spouses who are being asked to pay PSS. With our background and experience, we are fully aware of the challenges that often arise in such cases, and we have the skills to help you overcome them, regardless of which side of the case you may be on. Our primary goal is to ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected throughout your divorce proceedings.

We Are Ready to Help You

For more information about post-separation support in your North Carolina divorce, contact our office today. Call 919-533-7000 or 919-989-3000 to schedule a free consultation and case review at Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC. We represent supporting and dependent spouses in Raleigh, Charlotte, Smithfield, Mecklenburg County, Wake County, Johnston County, and the surrounding areas. Hablamos Español.

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