Alimony FAQS

Quickly find the answers you’re looking for as it pertains to Alimony & Spousal Support in North Carolina.

Top Question
Who has a claim to receive postseparation support and alimony? Who is the dependent spouse?

NC alimony and spousal support

Your Guide to Alimony

“Alimony” means payments for the support and maintenance of a spouse, either by lump sum or on a continuing basis. Alimony is paid by the “supporting spouse” to the “dependent spouse”. The general rule is that a spouse is dependent when he or she makes less money than the other spouse. Technically, a dependent spouse is a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially...

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Who has a claim to receive postseparation support and alimony?

Who has a claim to receive postseparation support and alimony?

Both postseparation support and alimony are now available in North Carolina to financially dependent spouses without any requirement that the supporting spouse be proven to have been at fault. This omission of the fault requirement was a very important change in our state alimony law that took effect on October 1, 1995, for actions filed on or after that date. Fault on the part of...

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How Much Alimony Will I Get?

How Much Alimony Will I Get?

The factors that are considered by the court are as follows: The marital misconduct of either of the spouses The relative earnings and earning capacity of the spouses The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance,...

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What is marital fault and how does it apply to an alimony claim?

What is marital fault and how does it apply to an alimony claim?

Although an alimony claimant is no longer required to prove the other spouse is at fault in order to be entitled to postseparation support or alimony, the new alimony statute still retains the concept of marital fault and still permits a judge to consider evidence of fault in fixing the amount of alimony to be awarded, if any. Marital fault in North Carolina is enumerated in...

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What is illicit sexual behavior?

What is illicit sexual behavior?

This fault, which used to be called adultery and unnatural sex acts (arguably more narrow concepts), can be a useful fault ground. Unlike many of the other grounds, adultery can have no legal justification–proof of the act will establish fault. Adultery may be proved by direct evidence, including the declarations of the paramour and (since 1984) the admissions of the adulterous spouse. Adultery may also be...

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What is abandonment?

What is abandonment?

Abandonment occurs when a spouse brings cohabitation to an end without justification the consent of the other spouse the intent of renewing cohabitation. All three of these elements must be proved by the spouse seeking to show the other spouse’s abandonment. A spouse is justified in leaving the other spouse, however, when the withdrawing spouse cannot continue the marital relation with safety, health, and self-respect....

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What is malicious turning out of doors?

What is malicious turning out of doors?

Malicious turning out of doors is a sub-set of willful abandonment and is proved by the same basic facts. Essentially, it means one spouse has been either emotionally or physically abandoned. Read more about spousal abandonment.


What are indignities?

What are indignities?

An indignity is conduct which renders the other spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome. According to one case, “Indignities may consist of: unmerited reproach studied neglect abusive language and other manifestations of settled hate and estrangement.” Facts supporting an allegation of indignities must be developed on a case-by-case basis because each individual has a different level of tolerance for misbehavior by a spouse. The fundamental characteristic...

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What is reckless spending?

What is reckless spending?

This fault used to be identified under the label of the “spendthrift” spouse. A spendthrift, according to our case law, is a person who spends money profusely and improvidently. Being a spendthrift is now only part of this fault ground, which now includes the destruction, waste, diversion or concealment of assets as well.


What are possible defenses against actions of marital fault?

What are possible defenses against actions of marital fault?

A party defending against an action that includes allegations of marital fault also has certain common law affirmative defenses to the fault allegations. These defenses have technical names: condonation, connivance, collusion and recrimination. The most commonly used of these defenses is condonation, which stands for forgiveness of the particular fault. For example, if your spouse has engaged in illicit sexual behavior with someone else and...

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