The Spagnola Law FIrm in Greensboro, North Carolina, represents clients throughout the Piedmont Triad area, also including Gibsonville, High Point, Jamestown, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Sedalia, Winston-Salem, Asheboro, Liberty, Whitsett, Kernersville, Reidsville, Eden and Randleman in Guilford County, Rockingham County, Randolph County and Alamance County.
Q. What is the difference between post-separation support and alimony?A. Post-separation support is essentially "temporary alimony." It is based on a spouse's immediate need for income from the other spouse to meet their reasonable living expenses in the immediate aftermath of a separation. In order to qualify for post-separation support, a spouse must establish that he or she is actually or substantially dependent on income from the other spouse to meet his or her needs and that the other spouse has the ability to provide some support after consideration of his or her immediate needs. An order for post-separation support will terminate when an alimony order is entered.Alimony is generally a longer-term form of support and is based on factors that go beyond being a dependent spouse, although that is still a minimal requirement for eligibility. Health, lifestyle, the length of the marriage, work history and other factors are considered when determining what amount of alimony if any should be paid and for how long.Q. How are post-separation support and alimony determined?A. There are no guidelines for alimony in North Carolina. As a result, an experienced attorney must become familiar with how judges in various jurisdictions typically resolve post-separation support and alimony issues. As stated before, there are a number of statutory factors that courts consider in alimony cases and some judges are likely to weigh them differently than others.A person who has engaged in illicit sexual conduct is barred from receiving alimony or post-separation support even if they are financially dependent provided that the other spouse did not engage in such conduct.Similarly, a person who is dependent is entitled to post-separation support and alimony if the other spouse can provide the support AND has engaged in illicit sexual conduct.Otherwise, the amount and duration of post-separation support and alimony is discretionary (meaning it is up to the judge whether to award any amount at all) if there is dependency.Q. Can alimony be modified later?A. Alimony can be modified IF it is in a court order and if the party asking for the modification can show that a change of circumstances has occurred that affects the need of one party to receive alimony or the ability of the other party to pay alimony.Also, alimony terminates if the party receiving the alimony remarries, dies, or begins living with a person of the opposite sex in a romantic relationship.Alimony that is contained in a separation agreement only is not modifiable unless the agreement contains provisions for modification.Call The Spagnola Law Firm today or inquire online to schedule a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony and Post Separation Support