In North Carolina, there are two types of spousal support, post separation support and alimony. Post separation support is often considered “temporary alimony” as it acts as a temporary means of financial support by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse. Post separation support usually lasts until an award of alimony is either granted or denied by a judge, or if the parties reach an agreement outside of court with respect to alimony.
Alimony, while similar to post separation support, is a permanent or specified arrangement that requires a supporting spouse to pay a dependent spouse either a lump sum or periodic payments. The court will use an enumerated list of factors, as set forth in North Carolina General Statutes § 50-16.3A, in considering whether to award. These factors include:
Marital misconduct of either spouse;
The relative income and earning capacities of the spouses;
The ages and physical, mental, and emotion conditions of the spouses;
The amount of earned and unearned income of both spouses such as dividends, medical benefits, retirement benefits, insurance, and social security;
The length of the marriage;
The contributions made by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child:
The standard of living the parties established during the marriage;
The education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to meet his or her reasonable needs:
The relative assets and debts of the spouses;
The property that either spouse owned prior to marriage;
The contributions of a spouse as a homemaker;
The relative needs of the spouses;
The tax implications of the alimony award.
Unlike child support, there is no fixed guideline or calculation for the court to use when establishing post separation support and alimony. Whether determining post separation support or alimony, the court must assess the financial standing of the parties and determine the monthly income, expenses and reasonable needs of each spouse, while also taking into consideration the above listed factors. Having a competent attorney to evaluate the facts of your case is invaluable. The family law attorneys at Parton Buckingham, PLLC will work with you to determine whether you are entitled to or may be required to pay post separation support or alimony.
For More Information on Post Separation Support and Alimony
To schedule a consultation to discuss post separation support and alimony with one of the family law attorneys at Parton Buckingham, PLLC, please call us at 704-376-4488.