What is Alimony?
In N.C. only a dependent spouse can receive alimony. A dependent spouse is defined as “a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.”
There are several confusing terms that are used in describing money a supporting spouse pays a dependent spouse: postseparation support, temporary alimony, alimony, permanent alimony.
Postseparation support is money that is paid to a dependent spouse in response to an agreement between the parties or an order by the judge for support until a decision on alimony can be made. This type of support is not intended to be permanent. It is a temporary type of alimony.
Alimony is support paid to a dependent spouse for a longer duration. It may be permanent in some cases. The amount of alimony paid and the duration can be determined by the court or settled by the parties.
Do I qualify for alimony?
The test for alimony is rather simple. The dependent spouse must show that his or her resources are not adequate to support his or her reasonable needs and that the supporting spouse is financially able to pay. The only complete bar to alimony is if the supporting spouse can prove the dependent spouses uncondoned illicit sexual behavior and the supporting spouse has not committed marital misconduct.
Do I need an Attorney?
Before you handle your case on your own, are you sure that you are not waiving any rights to alimony by consenting to a separation agreement or divorce? We can help you make sure that you aren’t giving up benefits that you are entitled to receive. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.