Alimony and Postseparation Support
The law firm of Tash & Kurtz, PLLC devotes its entire practice to family law matters in North Carolina. Our principal attorneys are Board Certified Specialists in Family Law and are committed to helping our clients in matters concerning divorce, alimony, postseparation support, child custody, child support, equitable distribution, and separation agreements.
In the state of North Carolina, postseparation support and alimony are only granted to a spouse who is “substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.” If there is no such economic dependency, no alimony or postseparation support will be awarded.
In 1995, the N.C. General Assembly started using the term “postseparation support” for funds paid to the dependent spouse during the separation period of the marriage. Postseparation support is considered temporary. Before the divorce becomes final, permanent alimony must be requested or agreed to in writing. If it is not, the requesting spouse could lose the right to request it.
In the same year, the General Assembly removed “fault” as a necessary criteria for spousal support. Previously, economic dependency alone was not considered sufficient enough to award alimony. The dependent spouse also had to show that the supporting spouse had committed some form of marital fault. However, under the new law, economic dependency is now considered sufficient for the receipt of alimony. There are no guidelines for the amount of postseparation support or alimony a dependent spouse can receive. A judge makes the determination based on numerous factors, but mostly on how much the dependent spouse needs, balanced against how much the supporting spouse can afford.
Alimony is support paid by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse. The amount and duration of alimony depends on a number of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The age of each spouse
- The health of each spouse
- The educational levels of each spouse
- The income of each spouse
- The standard of living the parties enjoyed during the last several years of their marriage.
Alimony can be paid until death or remarriage, either as a lump sum, in periodic payments over a specified period of time, or for an indefinite period of time. Before you sign any type of agreement, or file for divorce, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Tash & Kurtz, PLLC to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Postseparation support (PSS) is defined as 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. In order to receive PSS, one must prove:
- The parties involved were lawfully married
- The party seeking PSS is a dependent spouse
- The party from whom PSS is sought is a supporting spouse
- The dependent spouse does not have resources to meet his or her needs, and
- The supporting spouse has the ability to pay PSS to the dependent spouse.
The attorneys of Tash & Kurtz, PLLC will work with you to make certain that the support or maintenance ordered in your case is fair. There is no obligation to pay more support than is required by law, and there is no right to receive more than the law provides.
At Tash & Kurtz, PLLC, we keep our client’s interests at heart. Our goal is to create resolutions that can allow for healing, whether through litigation or through more affordable alternatives to litigation. If you need an attorney for a North Carolina divorce or other family law matter, please contact us.
For more information on Alimony and Postseparation Support, please see our Alimony and Postseparation Suppport Frequently Asked Questions.