x N. Lawrence Hudspeth III

Understanding Alimony in North Carolina

Date Posted: March 31, 2021 1:11 pm

Understanding Alimony in North Carolina

Alimony in North Carolina

Money is a common point of contention between divorcing spouses. The situation gets even worse when it comes to alimony, i.e., a payment ordered by the court to be made by one spouse to the other. For speedy and successful alimony case resolution, call North Carolina family law attorney Larry Hudspeth at (910) 455-9921.

Alimony is spousal support. The spouse with a higher income pays the money to the spouse who earns less income. North Carolina law permits judges to award alimony to dependent spouses if the supporting spouse can afford to provide it and if the dependent spouse can prove need.

Alimony payments can be recurring or one-time. Alimony awards can also differ widely in duration, ranging from a few months up to the entire lifetime of the paying spouse.

North Carolina Alimony

An judge evaluates whether one or both spouses engaged in illicit sexual behavior during the marriage before determining whether to award alimony.

Even if the dependent spouse can prove a financial need, alimony is denied if he or she committed illicit sexual acts. In cases where the higher-income spouse engaged in illicit sexual behavior, alimony will be automatically awarded to the aggrieved low-income spouse, though the amount is in the judge’s discretion..

Furthermore, the court will consider the following factors in determining alimony amounts, durations, and payment methods:

Alimony in North Carolina
Alimony in North Carolina

Furthermore, the court will consider the following factors in determining alimony amounts, durations, and payment methods:

  • Misconduct in marriage, including cruelty, abandonment, or alcohol/ drug abuse
  • The spouses’ ages, physical and mental health, and emotional state
  • What both spouses earn and how they get it
  • The duration of their marriage
  • Contribution to education, training, or the earning power of the other spouse
  • A spouse’s custody arrangement and, if so, how caring for the child interferes with their earning potential
  • The living standards the spouses had in their marriage
  • The education and job training time required for each spouse to become self-supporting.
  • Liabilities and assets of each spouse
  • A spouse’s contribution to the marriage
  • Either spouse’s contribution in homemaking
  • The needs of either spouse
  • Tax implications of alimony
  • Other factors considered relevant by the court

A court will consider all the factors listed above before determining alimony amounts, durations, and payment methods (if any). The judge has broad discretion to determine alimony, and there is no magic formula. Even so, he/she must list the reasons for it or its denial and the amount and duration.

Alimony Fair to Both Parties

Equity is the ultimate deciding factor in alimony cases. That means the alimony awarded must be reasonable for both parties. Of course, what is reasonable for both parties is a question to be settled by the Court. For this reason, parties must present the maximum amount of evidence on each of the statutory factors.

Larry Hudspeth Family Law Attorney Can Help

Alimony cases involve dependent spouses requesting more support or supporting spouses asking for reduction/termination of the payments. We can assist you in preparing your alimony case whether you are the supporting or dependent spouse. We can help you in negotiating an alimony settlement, or, if needed, we can prepare for trial. We are well-equipped to handle your case fast and efficiently. Please get in touch with us.