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Under North Carolina law, alimony is financial support provided by one
spouse to the other. An award of alimony can be indefinite or can be in
place for a fixed period of time. Long ago, alimony was only payable from
a husband to wife to compensate her for time during the marriage, but
current law states that alimony can be payable from a husband to wife
or from a wife to husband.
Miller Bowles Cushing can provide you with a lawyer that has the experience,
skill, needed to achieve a positive outcome. Call us at (704) 810-1400
schedule a consultation with a trusted Charlotte alimony lawyer today.
How Is Alimony Calculated?
Popular opinion suggests there is a calculator or “set” amount
of alimony, but that is not the case under North Carolina law. Instead,
the Court utilizes sixteen (16) different factors that the Court can use
to determine both the duration and amount of any alimony award. The Court
has wide discretion in issuing an alimony award based upon the Judge’s
opinion and findings of fact.
North Carolina courts use 16 factors to determine alimony in a divorce:
Instances of marital misconduct
Age and mental, physical, and emotional condition
Sources of earned and unearned income, including disability and social security
The duration of the marriage
One spouse’s contribution to the education or earning power of the other
Quality of living spouses experienced during the marriage
Education of each spouse and ability to train for employment to meet basic
Debt and legal obligations of each spouse
Property bought during the marriage
Contributions as a homemaker
Relative needs of a spouse
Tax ramifications of alimony for both parties
Any other economic circumstances the court deems relevant
The current division of assets established for the
To issue an alimony award, the Court must first determine there is a “supporting
spouse” and a “dependent spouse” and that the dependent
spouse is actually financially dependent upon the other for support or
that the dependent spouse is in substantial need of maintenance and support.
The Court may use actual earnings of the parties or earning capacity to
establish a supporting or dependent spouse.
How Does Marital Misconduct Factor in Alimony?
Marital misconduct is defined by North Carolina law and includes many different
Illicit sexual conduct (which includes numerous sexual acts, not just intercourse)
Reckless spending of the income or destruction
Waste, or concealment of assets
Excessive use of alcohol or drugs to render the other spouse’s life
Willful failure to provide necessary financial support according to one’s means
If the Court finds that the dependent spouse engaged in Illicit sexual
behavior during the marriage and prior to the date of separation, he or
she is barred from receiving alimony. Alternatively, if the Court finds
that the supporting spouse engaged in illicit sexual behavior during the
marriage and prior to the date of separation, the Court shall enter an
award of alimony. If both spouses engaged in illicit sexual behavior,
the Court has full discretion to issue or deny an award for alimony.
Can an Alimony Award Be Modified or Terminated?
Under North Carolina law, once an alimony award is issued via Court Order,
alimony may be modified or terminated at any time, based upon a motion
to the Court and a showing of changed circumstances. The most common example
is the cohabitation or remarriage of the supporting spouse. If a supporting
spouse is receiving alimony and cohabitates, as defined by statute, or
remarriage, the alimony award can be terminated.
Contact a Charllote alimony attorney here at Miller Bowles to determine
whether you are entitled to an award of alimony, if you may be required
to pay alimony, or if you would like to modify or cancel your alimony
payments. We can be reached at (704) 810-1400.
Over 50 Years of Collective Experience Handling Family Law Cases
Devoted to Providing the Highest-Quality Legal Representation to Our Clients
Proud to Provide Top-Notch Legal Service From NC Board Certified Specialists in Family Law
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