Spousal support in NC is determined by the court considering various factors which are explained in detail in this article.

Spousal support in nc

In North Carolina, alimony is only paid if the spouse is dependent on the other spouse and the other spouse is able to pay the court-determined alimony. Read this article to get complete information regarding spousal support.

What Is Spousal Support in NC?

Spousal support in NC is the financial assistance a spouse with a greater income gives to the other during and after a divorce. In North Carolina, spousal support is given by one spouse to the other so they can continue to live comfortably after the marriage has ended.

In North Carolina, courts take into account a wide range of variables, including incomes, obligations, and real estate. If you decide to have a North Carolina divorce, your situation must satisfy specific legal requirements for alimony.

Judges are not permitted to grant alimony in those situations if it does not meet these requirements. Before speaking with an attorney about your divorce case, you should understand how the legal system determines spousal support or alimony in North Carolina.

Importance of Spousal Support

The purpose of alimony orders is to maintain two homes. Spouses should be self-sufficient financially after a divorce, but that is not necessarily how things turn out. One spouse frequently makes less money or has more dependents who need financial support.

After a divorce, one spouse may ask the court to grant alimony if they feel they need to be financially supported. While spousal support cannot always be obtained through the legal system, it is nevertheless feasible.

The courts will determine if one spouse is eligible for spousal support and how much they should get. Various causes impact alimony. For instance, if one spouse suffers from a severe illness or disability, they can be entitled to more alimony than they would receive otherwise.

– Spousal Support Factors the Court Considers

The factors that the court considers when determining alimony include your income, your spouse’s income, etc. It might not always be able to apply specific factors to your circumstances, even though the court may use them as alimony guidelines for spousal support.

The amount of support payments awarded by a North Carolina court may change depending on the circumstances of your case. In North Carolina, the following variables are taken into account by the courts when determining alimony:

  • Your income: When deciding whether or not you qualify for alimony and how much you should get, the courts take into account both your gross and net income. Your divorce law attorneys can depict you as the party seeking maintenance if you’re the spouse with the lesser income.
  • Your spouse’s income: The court will also take into account your spouse’s net income when considering whether or not you should get alimony. A judge may provide you spousal assistance if your husband earns much more than you do.
  • Marriage length: The longer a couple has been together, the less probable it is that a judge will grant alimony. However, alimony can still be necessary if there is a sizable economic gap between spouses. This answers the question “how long do you have to be married to get alimony in North Carolina.
  • The spouses’ ages and health: Older spouses are more likely to get alimony payments from the court, especially if they have a disability.
  • Contributions to the acquisition of marital property: This element refers to the real estate or other assets that make up a couple’s marital property.
  • Custodial status: The North Carolina judge takes into account the custodial status when establishing alimony payments. This means that whether or not the receiving spouse has child custody has an impact on alimony calculations, and custodial spouses may get higher alimony payments.
  • Each spouse’s education
  • The couples’ assets and obligations
  • The assets each spouse contributed to the union and the contribution of each spouse in the home
  • Each spouse’s financial requirements
  • The effects of an alimony award on taxes
  • Any further pertinent economic variables

– Spousal Support Calculations

North Carolina courts calculate alimony by the help of child support guidelines in the state. Attorneys and judges determine the amount of alimony by entering the necessary data into a worksheet. It is calculated using the incomes of both spouses in addition to charges like health insurance and daycare fees.

Spousal support calculations

Your net income will be determined by taking your gross income, deducting your reasonable costs, and computing the amount of alimony. They will then calculate net income by taking your spouse’s gross income and deducting their reasonable costs. The judge will next combine your two incomes and deduct your spouse’s expenses from that total to determine the amount of spousal support. Thus, there is no spousal support calculator as such.

– Spousal Support Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina alimony laws state that if you were married for fewer than ten years, you probably won’t get alimony for more than half of that time. Other states simply base the length of the marriage on how much alimony should be paid.

Alimony for spousal support

Typically, the dependant spouse receive alimony for one year for every three years of marriage. If the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with someone else, these payments may be stopped.

– The Duration of Marriage To Get Alimony in North Carolina

In North Carolina, how long you have to be married to get alimony is decided by the judge. Thus, the judge decides length of alimony in NC. The length of alimony is typically determined by the length of the marriage.

One widely accepted guideline is that alimony should last for one year for every three years of marriage (take note that this is not always the case in every state and with every judge). When the paying spouse remarries or cohabitates with another person, alimony may also be terminated. Judges may even provide permanent alimony in rare circumstances.

In general, the longer you were married, the greater the likelihood that you would be granted alimony and the potential for bigger payments. A spouse who has been married for 20 years may be granted 10 years of alimony. A four-year marriage, however, might only result in a few years of alimony being awarded.

The date specified in the court order is the date on which alimony payments will end. In any other case, payments will stop when one of these subsequent things happens:

  • When either spouse dies
  • The receiving spouse remarries
  • When the receiving spouse cohabitates or performs illicit sexual behavior
  • When the receiving spouse lives with someone in a marriage-like relationship or alimony in NC cheating

What Are the Two Kinds of Spousal Support in North Carolina?

The two kinds of spousal support in North Carolina are postseparation support and alimony. The court will consider the supporting spouse‘s ability to make payments and the dependent spouse’s financial resources while deciding the type of spousal support to be awarded.

Two kinds of spousal support

Post-Separation Support

This is a type of temporary support meant to keep a spouse afloat while the court considers their alimony claim. Once the court issues a decision, a postseparation support order expires.

According to North Carolina General Statute, a judge will consider a number of factors before deciding whether or not to award this type of support, including:

  • Each party’s need for financial support
  • Each party’s capacity to earn an income
  • Each spouse’s current employment and recurring earnings
  • Each spouse’s necessary expenses
  • Separate and marital debt obligations
  • The standards of living during the marriage
  • Each party’s legal obligation to support another person

At a hearing for post-spousal support, the parties’ financial needs are the court’s main concern, but in some circumstances, the court may also take marital fault or marital misconduct into account.

Post-separation support terminates when any of the following events occurs, in addition to when a judge awards alimony:

  • The post-separation support order expires on the date mentioned therein
  • The judge rejects the request for alimony
  • When there is no active alimony claim, the court issues a judgment of absolute divorce
  • The dependent spouse marries a second time or moves in with a new partner
  • Death of either spouse

– Alimony

This lasts longer than support provided after a divorce. Usually, the supporting spouse pays alimony on a regular basis for a predetermined period of time, although this is not always the case.

Temporary, permanent, and rehabilitative alimony are all categories under North Carolina family law. These are explained below:

  • Rehabilitative alimony is a sum of money that one spouse gives the other for a set period to help the dependent spouse regain their financial stability. To assist the other spouse in completing their education or obtaining training, the court may order one spouse to pay alimony. That will support you during the tough divorce process and thereafter, when better employment chances and self-supporting opportunities arise.
  • The long-term financial support one spouse provides to the other is known as durational alimony. To determine the durational alimony support obligation, the court may take into account a number of variables. These elements include the length of the marriage as well as the state of each spouse’s health and work.
  • The ongoing financial support one spouse provides for the other is known as permanent alimony in NC. If the receiving spouse cannot find suitable employment or their future earning ability is at risk, the court may order one partner to pay the other spouse perpetual alimony to help the other spouse maintain their quality of life.


– How Can You Modify Alimony in North Carolina?

To modify alimony in North Carolina, you must submit a motion to the court that issued the alimony order if you want to amend it. You have two options for filing the motion: either on your own, or with the assistance of a legal firm’s divorce lawyers.

You might discuss rearranging the sequence with your spouse as well. Based on a spouse’s significant change in circumstances, a court may increase or decrease an award alimony. For instance, the court might consider a downward revision if the supporting spouse lost their employment. Notably, a judge will reject a downward revision request if the payor’s spouse knowingly cut their income.


If one spouse asks for alimony, they must demonstrate their need for support. One spouse might get more alimony than they would if they were healthy if they have a major sickness or handicap.

  • Spousal support, or financial help from your spouse after separation agreements or divorce, is referred to as alimony.
  • While divorce processes are ongoing, a financially dependent spouse may get post separation support.
  • In order to calculate how much alimony the party requesting maintenance should receive, North Carolina judges take into account a number of aforementioned variables.
  • In North Carolina, there is no set period that a couple must be married before receiving alimony.

Each circumstance must be evaluated in light of the family law before determining alimony. Thus, we hope you understand all the information from this article like how to file for spousal support in NC.

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