Alimony in North Carolina

The process of getting a divorce in North Carolina can be quite complex, and it involves many different decisions that must be made by the court to ensure the fairness of the result for both spouses. One element of divorce is the consideration of alimony payments. Determining the amount of alimony as well as to whom the amount is paid is accomplished in Wake County family court. Spouses who feel that they may be entitled to alimony as a result of a divorce should consult with NC family law attorneys to fully understand how alimony works.

Alimony is defined as an order for payment for the support of a spouse or a former spouse. This payment may be made over time or in one lump sum, depending on the decision of the North Carolina court. Alimony is paid to a “dependant spouse” from a “supporting spouse.” The dependent spouse is defined as being actually dependent on or in need of support (monetary or otherwise) from the supporting spouse. NC courts determine the duration, amount, and method of payment of the alimony.

The decision of how much alimony to award is based on several factors. These factors cover marital misconduct, earning capacities, ages/mental/emotional condition, duration of marriage, and the standard of living defined in marriage, among others. Marital misconduct includes a variety of acts, including illicit sexual behavior and treatment of the spouse, that occur during the marriage and prior to the date of separation. When the dependent spouse has engaged in acts of marital misconduct, it will affect their ability to receive alimony payments in North Carolina.

Wake County attorneys are of great assistance when determining in court the amount of alimony as well as the time period over which it is paid. It may be a very personal and complicated process for the divorcing spouses to understand during the decision made in Wake County family court. Reaching a conclusion that allows the dependent spouse to receive the reasonable amount of alimony can be done, and seeking advice from NC family law attorneys will help make sure both spouses are represented equally in court.