Money is one of the leading causes of divorce. When you separate from your spouse and you’re dependent on his or her finances, you may be eligible to file a complaint with the court requesting spousal support. Typically, you’re considered a dependent spouse if you earn an insufficient income to maintain the standard of living you became accustomed to during your marriage.
In North Carolina, alimony is payment for the support and livelihood of a spouse, either by lump sum or on a continuing basis. Alimony is paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. Usually, alimony is ordered to be paid depending on the length of the marriage, periodically over a specified time period or for the life of the dependent spouse.
Post separation support ( PSS) is similar to alimony, but is paid over a shorter amount of time. It’s often a monthly amount of money paid in the time period between a separation and alimony trial. Post separation support may include: medical coverage, mortgage payments, use of a vehicle or other necessities a dependent spouse needs to live a sustainable life. Post separation support is an accelerated way to make sure a dependent spouse can financially survive until an alimony trial can develop. Since post separation support is temporary, it automatically ends upon a settlement of alimony.
To determine alimony and post separation support, a judge will consider the reasonable financial needs of each party, including:
- The income that each party individually earns, if any.
- Whether each party has a deficit or surplus of money each month after paying for their own reasonable financial needs.
- The parties’ accustomed standard of living.
Settling on spousal support is complicated and involves numerous factors evaluated by a judge. In North Carolina, judges don’t adhere to a set of spousal support guidelines based on a numerical equation. It’s important that you hire an experienced alimony and post separation support attorney like W. Gregory Duke to make sure you obtain the best outcome possible.