Alimony, or spousal support, is generally awarded after separation or divorce when one half of the couple is somehow financially dependent upon the other and either can’t maintain their standard of living or meet their financial needs without some assistance.
What kinds of spousal support are available in North Carolina?
There are two different kinds of spousal support that are possible in this state: Post-separation support and alimony.
Post-separation support is designed to be temporary, and is often awarded while the court takes time to evaluate the dependent spouse’s claim. Alimony, on the other hand, is usually longer-lasting. It can continue for a specific period of time, involve a specific amount or be ordered for an indefinite period of time.
How is alimony determined in North Carolina?
There’s no specific formula or system to determine how much alimony a spouse will pay or receive. Instead, the judge will look to a number of different factors when making a final decision. These include:
- Any marital misconduct on either side
- Each spouse’s relative earning capacity
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s financial resources, both earned and unearned
- The length of the marriage
- One spouse’s contributions to the other’s career, education or business
- Each spouse’s contributions to the household during the marriage
- Each spouse’s education and ability to work
The judge can also take into consideration virtually any other factor that is relative to each party’s economic circumstances if it has bearing on their decision.
Because there’s often a lot at stake where spousal support and alimony are concerned, it’s wise to have a plan in place as you move forward. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand what may happen and work to protect your interests.