Pursuing the payment of financial obligations for a party after the date of separation is a large part of the family law practice that the attorneys at the McNeil Law Firm provide for their clients.
Claims for post-separation support and alimony are made to assist the dependent spouse after the separation of the parties to meet his or her reasonable needs and can continue for months, years or indefinitely.
The attorneys at the McNeil Law Firm are experienced in obtaining post-separation support and alimony for their clients and increasing alimony once an alimony order has been entered by the Court.
We are also experienced in defending against claims for post-separation support and alimony or reducing or eliminating alimony once an alimony order has been entered by the Court.
Eligibility for Alimony in North Carolina
In North Carolina, only married people are eligible to make a claim for alimony as there is currently no law which provides alimony to those who are in a domestic arrangement and North Carolina does not currently recognize a “common-law marriage” originating in North Carolina.
Financial Disclosures in Alimony cases
Claims for alimony are based on the economic needs of the parties and the ability of the supporting spouse to make the alimony payments. A considerable amount of financial information, documentation and other evidence is necessary to prosecute claims and defend against claims for alimony and post-separation support. In Wake County, the Local Rules require that financial affidavits be properly filled out and filed with the Court and require a substantial amount of documentation to be provided to the other party, or their lawyer, prior to the hearing date.
Alimony may be automatic or not allowed at all
In some cases alimony is automatically awarded to the dependent spouse. Those cases involve a supporting spouse who has cheated on the dependent spouse. There are also cases where alimony is not allowed and those include when the dependent spouse has cheated on the supporting spouse. Many of these cases involve the use of private investigators, computer forensics, or other evidence to present to the court that one, or the other, spouse has committed adultery. It takes a skilled and experienced lawyer to determine what is the best tactic to take in obtaining evidence against your spouse, in defending your claim and in defending against the claim made by your spouse. An experience attorney is skilled in weighing the evidence, has the resources to provide you with the best representation possible, and the knowledge to present the facts, circumstances and evidence to the Court in the best manner possible given the circumstances.
NC Alimony Law
North Carolina General Statutes, § 50‑16.1A, defines alimony as an order for payment for the support and maintenance of a spouse or former spouse, periodically or in a lump sum, for a specified or for an indefinite term, ordered in an action for divorce, whether absolute or from bed and board, or in an action for alimony without divorce.
In order for alimony to be awarded, there must be a supporting spouse and a dependent spouse. A “supporting spouse” is a spouse, whether husband or wife, upon whom the other spouse is actually substantially dependent for maintenance and support or from whom such spouse is substantially in need of maintenance and support. A “dependent spouse” means a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.
The issue of marital misconduct can be a significant issue in cases involving alimony. “Marital misconduct” means any of the following acts that occur during the marriage and prior to or on the date of separation:
- Illicit sexual behavior. For the purpose of this section, illicit sexual behavior means acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in G.S. 14‑27.1(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse;
- Involuntary separation of the spouses in consequence of a criminal act committed prior to the proceeding in which alimony is sought;
- Abandonment of the other spouse;
- Malicious turning out‑of‑doors of the other spouse;
- Cruel or barbarous treatment endangering the life of the other spouse;
- Indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome;
- Reckless spending of the income of either party, or the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of assets;
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome;
- Willful failure to provide necessary subsistence according to one’s means and condition so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome.
Contact the McNeil Law Firm today at (919) 803-6778
If you need post-separation support and alimony from your spouse or your spouse has made a claim that he or she needs alimony, contact our lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your rights, financial situation and your case. There is no reason to struggle financially if you spouse refuses to provide support for you. There is also no reason to struggle financially if the Court does not understand the situation and awards alimony to your spouse when you can not pay or your spouse should not be entitled to alimony.
This website contains general information about common family law and criminal law matters in North Carolina. However, please remember that every criminal, traffic, divorce or family law case is different. Websites are no substitute for genuine legal advice from an attorney and the information here may not apply to your specific case.
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The information contained on this site is provided as a public service for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law. The reader is advised to check for changes to current law and to consult with a qualified attorney on any legal issue before taking action of any kind. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or to create or imply the formation of a lawyer-client relationship between the reader and this firm.