Alimony, or spousal support, is a complex issue that can bring up a lot of questions. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about alimony in North Carolina. Remember, alimony can vary from case to case, so it’s important to consult with one of our Raleigh family law attorneys about your specific situation.
What is alimony?
Alimony is financial support that one spouse pays to the other after a separation or divorce. It’s designed to provide the lower-earning spouse with income for living expenses.
Who is eligible for alimony in North Carolina?
Alimony is typically awarded to a dependent spouse, meaning a spouse who is substantially dependent on the other spouse for maintenance and support or who is in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.
How is alimony calculated?
There isn’t a specific formula for calculating alimony in North Carolina, and the calculator above should be considered a rough estimate. Judges consider several factors, such as each spouse’s earning capacity, the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and physical, mental, and emotional health of both spouses, and the marital misconduct of either spouse.
Is marital misconduct considered in alimony cases?
Yes. In North Carolina, alimony can be denied if the dependent spouse engaged in illicit sexual behavior during the marriage and before or on the date of separation. If the supporting spouse engaged in illicit sexual behavior under the same circumstances, the court must award alimony.
How long does alimony last?
The length of time alimony is awarded for varies based on the circumstances. It can be for a specific period or until the court determines it’s no longer necessary. It usually ends if the dependent spouse remarries or cohabitates, or if either spouse dies.
Can alimony be modified?
Yes, alimony can usually be modified if there’s a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial change in income for either party. The court will review the case and decide whether the amount or duration of alimony should be changed.
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