Spousal Support: Alimony and Postseparation Support

When couples decide to separate, finances are often a worry for both spouses.

In North Carolina, there are two kinds of spousal support – post separation support and alimony. The easiest way to explain the types of spousal support is through the definitions from the North Carolina statute.

In North Carolina spousal support is given in two ways: post separation support and alimony.  Postseparation support is essentially temporary spousal support that is paid while a couple is separated and is intended to be permanent (usually until an alimony order is paid). Alimony is also spousal support but is generally awarded after post separation support and considers a wider variety of factors.

The court shall grant alimony to the dependent spouse once the court establishes that one spouse is a dependent spouse, that the other spouse is a supporting spouse, and that an award of alimony is fair to the parties involved.

A “dependent spouse” is a spouse (either husband or wife) who is actually substantially dependent on the other spouse for support or is in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse. This spouse must be actually dependent on the other in order to maintain the standard of living that they became accustomed to during the time before the two were separated.

A “supporting spouse” is the spouse upon whom the other spouse (dependent spouse) is substantially dependent for support. This is usually the spouse who made more during the marriage and supported the other spouse financially.

Read more about alimony and postseparation support in our resources below!

What is Postseparation Support and When is it Granted?

How Do I Get Alimony?

How is Alimony Different from Postseparation Support?

What is Marital Misconduct?
What is Illicit Sexual Behavior? 
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s Effect on Alimony?

If you are in need of alimony or postseparation support, or just have questions about your specific set of facts, call our office for a consultation with our family law attorney!

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