Alimony is payment for the maintenance and support of spouse, paid by the “supporting spouse” to the “dependent spouse.” Typically, the supporting spouse is the one who earns a higher salary than the other. It is generally paid on a continual basis—often monthly—although sometimes a court may order a spouse to make one lump sum payment or annual payments. This is different than post-separation support, which is another type of financial support that is paid throughout the process of the divorce. Alimony is paid once the divorce is finalized. 

Alimony comes in the form of either a separation agreement, which is settled outside of the courtroom, or a court-ordered payment of support. 

While every case is unique, below are some of the factors, from Chapter 50 of the North Carolina General Statutes, that courts will use in determining alimony:

  1. Relative earnings and earning capacities of each spouse;
  2. Marital misconduct of either spouse, if any, including any post-separation misconduct as corroborative evidence of earlier misconduct;
  3. Standard of living for both parties during the marriage;
  4. Duration of marriage;
  5. Needs of each of the spouses;
  6. A spouse’s contribution as a homemaker, if any;
  7. The economic effect if one of the spouses is the custodian of a child;
  8. Whether one spouse has contributed to the training or education of the other spouse;
  9. Property that either spouse brought into the marriage;
  10. Educational levels attained by both spouses and requisite time for seeking sufficient training or education for the alimony-seeking spouse to find adequate employment;
  11. The assets and liabilities of each spouse;
  12. Amount and source of each spouse’s earnings, including retirement, insurance, and social security;
  13. The tax consequences for any award of alimony;
  14. The health of each spouse, including physical, mental, and emotional conditions;
  15. Whether the court earlier considered any income received by one or both of the parties when determining assets in the division of marital property; and
  16. Any other factor concerning the financial circumstances of either spouse that the court believes is just and proper.

If you would like to make an appointment with a divorce attorney in Mocksville, Salisbury, or Lexington, NC to discuss your case, please contact one of our offices today. 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered or substituted as legal advice.

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