Alimony & Postseparation Support FAQs
What is alimony?
Alimony is money provided by the higher-income spouse in a divorce action to the lower-income spouse for living expenses. It is also known as spousal support. This support is in addition to the money provided for child support. Alimony is tax deductible by the person who pays it and is included in the taxable income of the person who receives it.
Are there different types of alimony?
There are three types of alimony, including:
· Temporary alimony – a type of alimony awarded pending a divorce or following separation. Temporary alimony consists of payments that include enough money to participate in the lawsuit and to take care of needs until permanent alimony can be established. In North Carolina, such temporary alimony is also called postseparation support.
· Permanent alimony – a type of alimony awarded after divorce. Permanent alimony consists of regular payments that may change in amount or may end if the receiving party remarries, cohabits, or dies.
· Lump sum alimony – also known as alimony in gross. Some states allow lump sum alimony payments that permit spouses to pay their alimony all at once.
Do I qualify for alimony?
The general rule is that one spouse is dependent when he or she makes less money than the other spouse. A dependent spouse is one who is substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support, or who is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse. A supporting spouse pays alimony to a dependent spouse when the court deems it necessary after considering all of the statutory factors.
When do I need to file for alimony?
Alimony must be requested before a divorce is granted. Failure to bring an alimony claim before entry of a divorce judgment will bar the spouse from bringing a claim for alimony later. According to North Carolina law, “a judgment of absolute divorce obtained by either spouse in an action eliminates the dependent spouse's right to alimony unless a claim for alimony has been asserted and left pending prior to the judgment, either in that action or an earlier action.”
How much alimony will I receive?
The amount of alimony you receive varies. The amount of alimony is based upon on the standard of living existing during the marriage, and upon the dependent spouse’s needs and the supporting spouse's ability to pay.
For more information on Alimony and Postseparation Support, please see our Alimony page.
For additional questions, contact Tash & Kurtz, PLLC.