In North Carolina, the General Statutes recognize two forms of spousal support: post-separation support and alimony. Post Separation Support is a temporary support mechanism intended to meet a dependent spouse’s financial needs during the pendency of divorce. Alimony is a post-divorce support mechanism and might include considerations other than financial need. Unlike child support, when divorcing couples are unable to reach an agreement relative to spousal support, these decisions are discretionary. Courts have a broad discretion in deciding these issues, though primary consideration is given toward maintaining the standard of living established during the marriage. Issues like marital misconduct can considered by courts where both amounts and length of awards are concerned.
Spousal support and alimony can be two of the most contentious issues divorcing couples face. The primary objective of alimony agreements should be toward maintaining the standard of living to which the family was accustomed for both spouses. The reality is that in a divorce both parties cannot sustain the financial lifestyle they have established during the marriage because they are supporting two households on the same income. An experienced divorce lawyer at NicholsonPham, knowledgeable in these areas, can help you resolve issues surrounding post separation support and alimony and provide creative solutions to help you reach an agreement. In the cases where spousal support cannot be agreed upon, the family law lawyers at NicholsonPham are prepared to go to trial.