Alimony is a form of spousal support, similar to post-separation support. Alimony can be addressed in a separation agreement. However, if not possible, the court can award alimony to a dependent spouse after the divorce. Similar to post-separation support, the party seeking alimony must prove that he or she is the “dependent spouse,” that the other spouse is the “supporting spouse” and has the ability to pay the support amount.
In order for a dependent spouse to be granted alimony, the court must find that an award is equitable after considering all relevant factors, including the length of the marriage, the spouse’s standard of living and any marital misconduct or fault. After a hearing, the court will set the amount of alimony payments and the length of time that those payments must be made by the supporting spouse. However, if set by the court, it can be modified if one can show a change in circumstances that relates to the needs of the party receiving alimony or the ability of the payer to pay the amount awarded.
Charlotte Spousal Support Lawyer
A common question we receive is, “When does alimony end?” In North Carolina, alimony can be terminated upon:
- A date specified in a court order
- Death or remarriage of the dependent spouse
- The resumption of marital relations between the parties or
- Cohabitation by the dependent spouse with a person of the opposite sex, in a manner that is continuous, voluntary and of which mutually assumes those typical marital rights, duties and obligations
Contact Moretz & Skufca, PLLC today to discuss your rights and options with a Charlotte alimony lawyer.
Post-separation support is a means to provide financial support to a dependent spouse. This form of spousal support, if granted by the court, is provided to the dependent party during that time between their date of separation and divorce. However, not everyone is entitled to receive post-separation support. This form of marital support is awarded to a spouse only if he or she can prove he or she was dependent on the other spouse and that amount of support is necessary to continue the standard of living that the dependent spouse was accustomed to during the course of his or her marriage. However, the supporting spouse must have the ability to pay the support amount. A judge cannot order a support amount that is above and beyond the supporting spouse’s net income after expenses.
Are you a dependent spouse?
That depends. In order to be classified as a dependent spouse, you must be substantially dependent upon the support of the other spouse or you are substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse. If you are able to prove that you are dependent. Then you must prove that the other spouse is the supporting spouse and the supporting spouse has the ability to pay support to you after separation. The classification of “dependent” or “supporting” spouse will have a tremendous impact on your life after separation. Contact a post-separation support attorney at The Law Office of Matthew T. Marcellino, PLLC, to determine whether you are a dependent or supporting spouse.
Does fault play any role in receiving post-separation support?
Yes, it does. Fault or “marital misconduct” can have an impact on whether a trial judge will award post-separation support, including alimony. There are factors that the court will consider when determining the extent and impact of the marital misconduct. Those factors include illicit sexual behavior, abandonment and cruel or barbarous treatment.
Post-separation support can be awarded in a lump-sum payment or multiple payments over time, as the court sees fit. However, it can also end upon the awarding or denial of alimony by a trial court.