While we are a no fault divorce state, meaning you don’t have to have a reason to get divorced, a spouses marital misconduct is considered when it comes to alimony.
In North Carolina, marital misconduct can be an important factor in determining the amount of alimony a party will be awarded, and depending on the type of misconduct, it can result in a complete denial of alimony (for a dependent spouse) and an automatic requirement to pay alimony (for a supporting spouse).
A common question in alimony cases is “what exactly is marital misconduct?”
What is Marital Misconduct?
North Carolina law, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.1A, defines marital misconduct specific acts that occur during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation. What this means is that after parties separate actions cannot be considered marital misconduct. That being said, it is important to remember acts after the date of separation can be used as evidence to show they were happening during the marriage as well.
The specific acts that are considered martial misconduct are:
- Illicit sexual behavior, meaning sexual acts with someone other than the spouse (i.e., was unfaithful);
- Involuntary separation of the spouses in consequence of a criminal act committed prior to the alimony proceeding;
- Abandonment of the other spouse;
- Malicious turning out-of-doors of the other spouse;
- Cruel or barbarous treatment endangering the life of the other spouse;
- Indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome;
- Reckless spending of the income of either party or the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of assets;
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome; and
- Willful failure to provide necessary subsistence according to one’s means and condition so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable or life burdensome.
To get a better view about your specific set of facts, contact Miller Law Group for a consultation today!