When you file for divorce in North Carolina, NC alimony may be an issue that you must deal with if your ex-spouse is financially dependent upon you for his or her support. The first alimony issue to be settled is the question of post-separation support. Post-separation support is paid during the time between your initial separation and a final order awarding or denying alimony. Post-separation support may also terminate by a specific date ordered by the court; however, it typically continues until the court hears final arguments regarding alimony.
The court uses several factors when determining if NC alimony is justified. The first hurdle your ex-spouse must clear is the determination he or she is a “dependent spouse.” The court must determine that your spouse is dependent on you for his or her maintenance or your spouse is in substantial need of support from you after the separation and/or divorce. Once the court determines your spouse is entitled to NC alimony, the court must then calculate the amount of alimony to award.
North Carolina does not have a standard formula or NC alimony guidelines to calculate the amount and duration of alimony as it does with child support. Therefore, the court uses several factors when deciding the amount and duration of alimony including:
The length of the marriage;
The standard of living during the marriage;
The age and health of the parties;
Any marital misconduct during the marriage;
The assets, debts, income, education, and earning capacity of each party;
The contributions of one spouse to the other spouse’s education, earning capacity, or career;
The contributions as a homemaker and caregiver;
The needs of each party;
The tax consequences of awarding alimony;
Property brought into the marriage by each party; and,
Any other factors the court deems relevant and proper to consider when determining the duration and amount of alimony.
When Does NC Alimony End?
Most NC alimony orders contain a provision that specifies when alimony ends or terminates. In most cases of ongoing alimony, the payments continue until the ex-spouse dies, remarries, or cohabitates with another person. Some ex-spouses choose to live with another person rather than marrying that person in order to continue receiving alimony. If you believe your ex-spouse is cohabitating with another person, you can petition the court for an order to end NC alimony. However, proving cohabitation can be difficult; therefore, you want an experienced alimony attorney to represent you in this action.
Factors that you may use to prove to the court that your ex-spouse is cohabitating with another person include but are not limited to:
How many nights are the parties spending together in the same home in a row?
Have the children been instructed not to “tell” anyone that mommy or daddy’s “friend” is living with them?
Do the parties share a bank account or have joint assets?
Do the parties have joint debts?
What does the other person use as his or her mailing address and residential address?
What are the parties telling their friends and family about their living arrangements?
Other factors may also be used depending on the facts of your case. You may also need a private investigator to help gather sufficient evidence to prove to the court that your ex-spouse is cohabitating with another person in order to end alimony. We can help you with this process.
Do You Need a Jacksonville NC Alimony Attorney?
“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”
If you have questions about North Carolina alimony or if you suspect that your spouse is cohabitating with another person, contact our office. Our experienced family law attorneys have extensive experience handling all North Carolina family court matters. We represent clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County and the surrounding communities.
Call our office at (910) 405-8459 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.