When it comes to divorce proceedings, one of the most contentious issues is often alimony. In North Carolina, determining alimony can be complex, especially when infidelity is involved. If you find yourself in this situation, it's crucial to understand how cheating impacts alimony in the state. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable insights and actionable tips to navigate this challenging process.
Understanding Alimony in North Carolina
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is the financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Its purpose is to help the dependent spouse maintain a similar standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. When deciding on alimony, North Carolina courts consider various factors, including the dependent spouse's financial needs, the supporting spouse's ability to pay, the duration of the marriage, and the marital misconduct of either party.
Marital Misconduct and Alimony
In North Carolina, marital misconduct encompasses a range of behaviors, including adultery. While the state follows a no-fault divorce system, meaning that a spouse doesn't need to prove fault or wrongdoing to obtain a divorce, marital misconduct, including cheating, can still influence the court's decision regarding alimony.
Post-Separation Support: North Carolina allows for temporary post-separation support (PSS), which is financial assistance provided to the dependent spouse during the separation period before the final divorce judgment. In cases where the supporting spouse has engaged in marital misconduct, such as infidelity, the court may consider this factor when determining the amount and duration of PSS.
Alimony: When it comes to alimony, North Carolina courts follow the "at-fault" and "innocent spouse" framework. If the supporting spouse's infidelity is proven, it can impact the court's decision regarding alimony. The court may reduce or deny alimony to the cheating spouse, taking into account factors such as the duration and extent of the affair, its impact on the marriage, and the financial needs of the dependent spouse.
Cohabitation: Another important aspect to consider is cohabitation. If the dependent spouse who was receiving alimony starts cohabitating with a new partner, it may affect the alimony arrangement. North Carolina law allows for alimony to be modified or terminated if the recipient spouse engages in a supportive relationship akin to a marriage.
Navigating the impact of cheating on alimony in North Carolina can be overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and legal support, you can protect your interests. At Miller Bowles Cushing PLLC, our experienced family law attorneys understand the complexities of alimony cases involving infidelity.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us guide you through this challenging process.