Can alimony be modified or vacated?

Modification or vacation of a North Carolina decree awarding alimony, whether entered after contest or upon consent, will be considered upon a motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party.

Understand that modifiability of a North Carolina alimony order requires two things

  • first, alimony is being paid under court order
  • second, a substantial change of circumstances has occurred, measured by a comparison of facts existing at the time of the original order and the time when modification is sought.

The best way to be sure there is a record of the circumstances existing at the time of the original order is to make sure the original order details findings of fact as to the parties’ financial condition and the like.

Under UIFSA, discussed above in connection with child support, North Carolina may not modify an alimony or spousal support order entered by a court in another state. Pursuant to our UIFSA law, a spousal support order may be modified only by the state that issued the original alimony order, whether or not that state has enacted UIFSA.


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