Alimony

You may be entitled to alimony if you are the dependent spouse. This means you are actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for support or substantially in need of support from the other spouse.

It must be equitable to award the dependent spouse Alimony. Equitable is determined on the following relevant factors:

  • Financial needs of the parties;
  • Accustomed standard of living;
  • Present employment income and other recurring earnings of each party from any source;
  • Earning abilities of both spouses;
  • Separate and marital debt service obligations;
  • Living expenses of both parties necessary for support of each;
  • Each party's respective legal obligations to support any other person.

Finally, illicit sexual behavior plays a determinative role in entitlement to permanent alimony.

  1. If you are the dependent spouse and you engaged in uncondoned illicit sexual behavior during the marriage and prior to the date of separation, you will not be entitled to Alimony unless the supporting spouse also participated in an act of uncondoned illicit sexual behavior during the marriage prior to the date of separation.
  2. If you are the supporting spouse, your spouse shall be entitled to Alimony if you engaged in an uncondoned illicit sexual act during the marriage prior to the date of separation (and the dependant spouse is not guilty of the same conduct.)
  3. If both spouses have engaged in an uncondoned illicit sexual act, then Alimony may be denied or awarded in the discretion of the court after consideration of all the other circumstances.
Amount and Duration of Permanent Alimony:

Who decides? The trial court decides in its discretion the amount, duration and manner of payment of Alimony.

What are the relevant factors the court must consider in determining the manner, amount and duration of payment of permanent Alimony?

50-16.3A(b)
  1. The marital misconduct of either of the spouses, which may be determined by a jury (see marital misconduct under Postseparation Support. These factors are the same);
  2. The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;
  3. The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  4. The amount and source of earned and unearned income of both spouses; including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security or others;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. The contribution by one spouse to the education, training or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  7. 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;
  8. The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
  9. The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking Alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;
  10. The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;
  11. The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
  12. The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker;
  13. The relative needs of the spouses;
  14. The Federal and State tax ramifications of the Alimony award;
  15. Any other factors relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.

Your case for Alimony or Postseparation Support must be pending in the court prior to your absolute divorce.

North Carolina Divorce Lawyers Blog - Alimony Taxation
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