North Carolina Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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North Carolina law allows the court to grant alimony in situations where it is needed. The court will look at respective circumstances and determine spousal support on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – available during the divorce proceedings if needed.
  • Short-Term – granted in cases where short-term support will assist a party in adjusting to the new situation.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – granted when one party has a long-term need for support, usually in cases of lengthy marriage.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in North Carolina

Either party may seek alimony in North Carolina. Generally, a party who makes less money, is responsible for minor children, or who has a greater need is more likely to receive alimony.

North Carolina Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

A North Carolina court may consider the following in determining whether to award alimony:

  • Marital misconduct;
  • Age and health of the parties;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Contribution of one spouse to the career or education of the other spouse;
  • Earning potential of the parties
  • Standard of living during the marriage;
  • Needs, assets and liabilities of the parties;
  • Contribution of one spouse as a homemaker; and
  • Other factors as the court deems appropriate.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in North Carolina

Change of circumstances of either party may constitute sufficient reason for modification of the support agreement. The party who desires modification must petition the court and will have the burden of proving the changed circumstances.

Marital Fault in North Carolina

North Carolina courts allow for fault based divorce and will consider fault in determining alimony. Some of the North Carolia grounds for divorce include:

  • Incurable insanity;
  • Abandonment;
  • Cruel treatment that endangers the life of the other;
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs; and
  • Adultery.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in North Carolina?

The length of spousal support varies, depending on the length of the marriage, the situation of the parties, whether either party has custody of children from the marriage and other factors that are relevant. Duration of payments is generally set out in the settlement agreement.

North Carolina Alimony Taxes

To best structure your support agreement for tax purposes, it is best to work with an attorney. Payments may be deductible on federal taxes, and the party who receives monthly alimony payments is usually required to claim payments as income. There are alternate ways to set up alimony, so talk with a tax professional prior to setting up your agreement.

Find an Alimony Attorney in North Carolina

Discuss your divorce with a North Carolina attorney who handles family law cases on a regular basis. An attorney will help you by advising you of your options and rights and advocating on your behalf during court proceedings.

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