Spousal Support in North Carolina

Jan 2, 2015 by

There are thousands of jokes that touch on the subject of alimony, and most of these give the impression that the alimony receiver (usually the evil wife) is taking advantage of the alimony giver (the poor husband). In reality, however, it isn’t as simple (or as sexist) as all that.

In a marriage, especially one that lasts several years, the husband and wife (or partners in same-sex marriages) get used to a certain way of life. In many cases today, both spouses work but one usually earns much more on which the other spouse depends. In the event of a divorce, as the website of the Marshall & Taylor PLLC explains, spouses will have to cope with a change in their financial situation where the spouse who is earning less will no longer have the income of the more affluent spouse to fall back on to make up the difference in the household expenses. There are cases when the less affluent spouse is unable to make ends meet because he or she has become used to a certain lifestyle.

In North Carolina, spousal support is designed to be rehabilitative; it is not meant to punish one spouse. The aim is to help the less affluent spouse gradually adjust to a different lifestyle as a single person, and that at some point spousal support will no longer be necessary. It is a tricky issue because each case is different and takes careful sifting to identify real needs from imagined ones.

In general, divorce courts in North Carolina will grant two types of spousal support: post-separation support (PSS) and alimony. PSS is typically of limited duration. It is in force until such time as a petition for alimony is granted or denied. If alimony is granted, the PSS gives way to alimony, which can be more or less than the PSS, and is of varying duration depending on how the petitioning spouse presents the case and how circumstances pan out in the future.

If your future ex-spouse is giving you a hard time about spousal support, you need to assert your rights under North Carolina law. Consult with a savvy divorce lawyer in your area to help you prepare your case.

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