Separating or divorcing your spouse can be both personally stressful and legally complicated. There may be a variety of issues beyond just dissolving or redefining your marriage that you may need to consider, including whether you might be entitled to monetary support in the aftermath of the process. A Wake Forest spousal support lawyer could review your situation, including your financial circumstances, and advise you on whether you might be able to file a claim for spousal support. If so, our skilled family attorneys at Triangle Divorce Lawyers could guide you through the legal proceedings and tell you what to expect at each step of the process.
The term “spousal support” generally refers to monetary support paid by one spouse to another after separation or divorce. According to North Carolina General Statutes §50-16.1A, the spouse paying the support is the “supporting spouse” and the spouse receiving the support is the “dependent spouse.” There are two different types of spousal support in North Carolina: post-separation support and alimony.
In North Carolina, post-separation support refers to short-term, temporary monetary support paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse after the date of separations and typically while an alimony claim is pending. Therefore, post-separation support generally occurs before any court determination on alimony. Either spouse may ask for post-separation support under N.C.G.S. §50-16.2A.
A dependent spouse is usually entitled to post-separation support if a court finds that his or her resources are insufficient for the spouse to support himself or herself and that the supporting spouse has the ability to pay the dependent spouse’s expenses. A court generally bases the amount of any post-separation award on the following factors, as per N.C.G.S. §50-16.2A:
A court may also take into account any “marital misconduct” in awarding post-separation support, including any infidelity. Any person who is interested in more information on claiming post-separation support may benefit from contacting a Wake Forest spousal support attorney.
The term “alimony” generally refers to court-ordered monetary payment from the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse due to a marriage ending. A court usually considers multiple factors in deciding whether to award alimony, according to N.C.G.S. §50-16.3A. Many of these factors are similar to the ones listed above for post-separation support.
Under N.C.G.S. §50-16.9, either spouse may petition a court to modify a spousal support order if he or she is able to show good cause and a change of circumstances. For example, a dependent spouse may be able to show that he or she is entitled to a greater amount of spousal support than the court initially determined due to their unemployment, the end of child support, or other similar situations.
Furthermore, according to that same statute, unless otherwise agreed, spousal support—whether post-separation support or alimony—ends when the dependent spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with someone else. Additionally, spousal support ends when either the dependent spouse or the supporting spouse dies. Experienced Wake Forest spousal support lawyers may be able to provide more detailed information on how to modify a spousal support order.
If you think you might be entitled to financial support from your ex-spouse, you may need legal help to actually receive it. Our knowledgeable family attorneys are available to assist you in obtaining spousal support. At Triangle Divorce Lawyers, we are familiar with how courts adjudicate spousal support claims in North Carolina. As a result, we could work with you to ensure you receive any support you deserve. A Wake Forest spousal support lawyer could analyze your situation and advise you on how best to proceed with your claim. Call today to schedule an initial case review and start reviewing your options.