In North Carolina, alimony is a form of post separation support (PSS) paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. The dependent husband/ wife is the one who is considerably reliant on the supporting spouse for the maintenance of his/her current lifestyle. Typically the dependent spouse may be the homemaker without employment.
Nature of Alimony
Alimony is a more permanent form of the PSS and the details of the amount and duration can be arrived at through a court order or by mutual agreement between the parties. There are in all 15 factors considered by the court in awarding alimony. Some of them are the total earnings (including income from interest, dividends etc) of both partners, earning capacity and needs of each partner, how each partner has contributed to the schooling and increased earning capacity of the other and the age and physical and mental condition of the partners.
Alimony may be paid as a lump sum or in the form of periodic payments. Besides money, alimony may also include transfer of property titles, security interest and /or interest in property.
If the dependent spouse is proven to have indulged in illicit sexual behavior, no alimony will be awarded. However, this factor is not a bar in awarding PSS and this is how alimony and PSS differ.
Modification of Alimony
Alimony can be modified if there is substantial and material change in the circumstances that warrant such a modification. For instance, if the supporting spouse suffers financial losses in business or due to any other reason such as property devaluation, he/ she can file for downward modification of alimony. Likewise if there is an upswing in the supporting spouse’s financial fortunes due to business decisions made during the period of marriage or due to any other reason, it can serve as grounds for upward modification of alimony to be filed by the dependent spouse.
We at McIlveen Law Firm have vast experience in dealing with alimony cases. We will help you file alimony modification motions and ensure that we make the best representation of your case for the best results.