When does North Carolina alimony end?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | family law |

The idea that one spouse might have legal and financial responsibility to the other after a divorce is a very old one. People have been subject to financial requirements for ongoing support after a divorce or as long as divorces have existed. Some people talk about spousal support or spousal maintenance, but North Carolina refers to these payments as alimony. Alimony payments generally help to bridge the gap between the lifestyle someone has previously enjoyed and what they can afford while living independently at the time of the divorce.

Both those expecting to pay alimony and those in need of alimony payments may have questions about what the courts may decide to order in the event of litigated divorce. When might North Carolina alimony payments eventually end if spouses can’t agree on the terms of an order?

After a set amount of time

Most North Carolina alimony orders include very specific rules regarding how long the alimony should last and how much one spouse should pay the other. Whether spouses reach an agreement through negotiations or litigation, the alimony orders should indicate when someone no longer has to make payments. Unless there is a substantial change in circumstances, alimony payments should likely continue for the duration outlined in the alimony order.

Until the recipient remarries

If the person receiving alimony starts a new romantic relationship, they may eventually depend on their new partner for financial support. Once someone makes their relationship official by getting married to a new partner, the person paying alimony can request an early termination of the alimony order.

After the recipient begins cohabitating

Roommate arrangements are common for those struggling to get back on their feet after a divorce. Simply having a shared living arrangement does not make someone ineligible for alimony. However, if someone decides to move in with their committed romantic partner, then that is another story.

Oftentimes, they combine finances and share a household despite choosing not to get married. The delay in marriage might actually be because someone wants to continue receiving alimony payments. Therefore, if someone begins living with their romantic partner, it may be possible to diminish or terminate alimony payments.

The North Carolina courts hear alimony modification requests under an assortment of different circumstances. Understanding when alimony typically ends may help people better plan their finances during and after a divorce.

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