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When Is a Spouse Awarded Alimony in a North Carolina Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law

Raleigh, NC family law attorney alimony

If you are thinking about divorce, you probably have concerns about the financial consequences of ending your marriage. One particular issue that many people misunderstand is alimony. Also called spousal support, alimony refers to payments that a spouse makes to the other after divorce. Alimony is typically awarded when there is a considerable difference in the spouse’s financial resources or when one spouse is financially dependent on the other spouse. Read on to learn about the basics of alimony in North Carolina and how to get help with alimony-related concerns during your divorce.

Providing Assistance to a Lower-Earning Spouse

Alimony is used when a spouse is not able to support himself or herself financially after a separation or divorce. A spouse may need extra financial support through alimony because he or she has a disability, has acted as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent for many years, or because other circumstances have reduced his or her earning capacity. Post-separation alimony refers to alimony payments that are made between a separation and a divorce. This support is temporary and designed to help a spouse during the transition from being married to being divorced. Post-separation alimony is intended to cover the recipient’s living expenses and other necessary costs. Traditional alimony payments begin after the divorce and may be temporary or permanent. If the recipient spouse has the ability to obtain the training or education needed to gain suitable employment, the alimony will likely be temporary. If the recipient is past the age of retirement or has a disability, the court may order permanent alimony. Alimony payments terminate if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Factors Considered by North Carolina Courts in Alimony Cases

North Carolina is unlike other states in that marital misconduct can influence whether or not a spouse receives alimony. When deciding whether or not to award alimony, North Carolina courts first determine whether “illicit sexual behavior” has occurred during the marriage. If the spouse seeking alimony has committed illicit sexual behavior, he or she will not qualify for alimony. Outside of marital misconduct, courts consider factors such as each spouse’s income-earning ability, assets, income, age, and health when deciding if alimony is appropriate. The duration of the marriage, parenting arrangements, tax consequences, and several other issues can also influence the court’s decision about alimony.

Contact a Smithfield, NC Alimony Lawyer

If you are planning to divorce, you may have questions or concerns about alimony in North Carolina. That is why it is important to speak with an experienced Johnston County family law attorney from the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC. Call our office today at 919-533-7000 or 844-967-3536 to schedule your free consultation. Hablamos Español.




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