Raleigh Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys
Spousal support, better known as post-separation support and alimony, is alive and well in North Carolina. Before there can be an award of spousal support, a determination must be made as to whether there is a dependent spouse. A dependent spouse must be either actually dependent upon the other spouse to meet his or her reasonable living expenses or must be substantially dependent upon the other spouse to meet the living expenses for the lifestyle in which he or she has become accustomed. If the court determines that either of these prongs can be met, it must then determine whether the other spouse is capable of providing support. If he or she is capable of providing such support, then that spouse is the supporting spouse. Once that determination is made, the Court must determine amount and duration of alimony or post-separation support after considering a number of factors. The only bar to alimony is the illicit sexual misconduct on the part of the dependent spouse.
Post-separation support is a temporary mechanism while alimony is generally a more permanent mechanism. Alimony can have a set duration or it can be permanent, meaning it terminates upon the death of either party, the remarriage of the dependent spouse or cohabitation of the dependent spouse. Duration is determined by considering all of the relevant factors.
Spousal support is generally considered taxable income to the dependent spouse and a tax deduction to the supporting spouse. For this reason, it is important for the dependent spouse to consider all tax consequences when trying to negotiate an award of alimony.