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Postseparation Support and Alimony

According to North Carolina General Statute § 50-16.1A, postseparation support means spousal support to be paid until the earlier of either the date specified in the order of postseparation support, or an order awarding or denying alimony. An award of postseparation support is discretionary with the court.

A domestic action can often be a lengthy process. Postseparation support is a type of temporary support. It helps bridge the gap from the time a dependent spouse separates and first files a claim for alimony until the claim can be heard and ruled upon.

According to North Carolina General Statute section 50-16.1A, alimony means 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 determining if you’re entitled to alimony, the court considers whether you’re a dependent spouse, your spouse is a supporting spouse and whether an award of alimony is equitable considering the circumstances. The court also considers acts of marital misconduct committed when determining alimony.

If the court finds that a dependent spouse committed an act of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage, the court will not award alimony. However, if the court finds that a supporting spouse committed an act of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage, then the court will order the supporting spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse.

The amount and duration of an alimony award are completely within the discretion of the court. There are no set rules for determining how much alimony you may pay or receive, nor for how long you may pay or receive it. Generally, however, these awards are based upon the income and expenses of the parties.