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Can Alimony be Increased or Reduced?
For matters of post-separation support and alimony that were resolved through the entry of a North Carolina court order, it is possible to have the terms modified or vacated, even after a divorce is final. Any requests for modifications are governed by NC Gen Stat § 50-16.9, and, similar to orders for child custody and…
What Factors are Considered in a North Carolina Child Custody Case?
Parents who find themselves dealing with any type of child custody dispute, or anticipate having to go through a custody dispute, often find themselves asking what factors a judge considers when making a custody and visitation determination. Most parents can come to an understanding on custody, but when agreements are not possible, it becomes necessary…
Can a PSS or Alimony Order be Modified?
An order entered by the court for PSS or alimony may be modified or vacated at any time, upon application made to the court by either party and a showing of changed circumstances. A change in circumstances that may warrant modification of an order for PSS or alimony may include a dependent spouse’s cohabitation or…
How Long Will PSS and Alimony Last?
PSS typically lasts until 1) the date specified in the PSS order, 2) the date the court enters an order either awarding or denying alimony, or 3) the alimony claim is dismissed. Many alimony awards that are entered today are meant to be in the nature of rehabilitative support, and only provide resources to a…
Is Adultery a Bar to Post Separation Support or Alimony?
Adultery falls under the definition of “illicit sexual behavior” which is defined as acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in G.S. 14-27.20(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse. Illicit sexual behavior, solely on the part of the dependent spouse will bar…
Disposition of an Alimony Claim
All alimony cases are decided by a judge, not a jury. However, when marital misconduct has been alleged by either party, a party may request a jury trial on the issue of marital misconduct. North Carolina Gen. Statute § 50-16.3A(b) sets forth a series of 16 factors to aid judges in determining alimony claims. Those factors…
Disposition of a Postseparation Support Claim
A party’s PSS claim is determined before the merits of his or her actual alimony claim are adjudicated. Consequently, the threshold for a spouse to be awarded PSS is much lower than alimony. Finances are usually at the forefront of a PSS claim. In determining whether a spouse should be awarded PSS, a judge will consider…
How are Post Separation Support and Alimony Calculated?
Unlike some other states, North Carolina does not have a statewide specific formula or mathematical guidelines that can be used to calculate PSS and alimony. North Carolina law affords judges broad discretion in determining PSS and alimony claims. This broad discretion leads to inconsistency and a wide discrepancy in spousal support awards. It also makes…
How Is a Dependent Spouse’s Financial Need Assessed?
Financial affidavits are court forms that are used in conjunction with spousal support claims. When a party files an action that includes claims for PSS and/or alimony, both parties involved in the action must usually complete and file with the court a financial affidavit itemizing his/her respective monthly income, deductions, and expenses. This financial affidavit…
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