Oct. 24, 2022

Alimony in NC: How Long It Lasts and When Payments Stop

financial support, business, family, alimony, maintenance, investing in childrenNorth Carolina is one of the few states still requiring alimony payments after a divorce. Here is what you need to know about how long it lasts and when payments will stop.

When it comes to divorce, few things are as contentious as alimony. Mercedes Chut is a lawyer in North Carolina who specializes in alimony cases. She has represented men and women in court and knows the law’s ins and outs. If you are going through a divorce and need help with alimony, Mercedes Chut is the lawyer you need.

Alimony Laws in North Carolina

Spousal support and alimony are terms interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between the two. Spousal support refers to payments made by one spouse to another during the divorce process to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. Alimony, on the other hand, is a court-ordered payment made after finalizing the divorce. 

Alimony is a payment from one spouse to another, either in a lump sum or as ongoing payments. It intends to help the less-earning spouse maintain their standard of living after a divorce. It may be part of a divorce settlement or by a judge. 

According to alimony in NC guidelines, alimony is an award in cases where the marriage lasted for ten years or more. The amount and duration of maintenance are on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the financial needs of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay. Alimony may be on a temporary or permanent basis and may have modifications or termination if the circumstances of either spouse change.

To be eligible for alimony, a spouse must demonstrate that they cannot support themselves after the divorce. The court will consider each spouse’s earning capacity, the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, and each spouse’s financial resources when deciding alimony.

How Do You Calculate Alimony in NC?

In North Carolina, the “Income Shares” model calculates the alimony. This model considers the paying spouse’s and the receiving spouse’s income.

The combined income of both spouses gets divided into a percentage corresponding to each spouse’s share of the total income. The paying spouse’s obligation will come from multiplying their income share by the total amount of support needed.

For example, if the combined income of both spouses is $100,000 and the paying spouse earns 60% of that income, they would be responsible for 60% of the total support needed.

How Long Does Alimony Last in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, alimony generally lasts for a period of one-half the length of the marriage. However, there are some instances where the court may order permanent alimony.

Permanent alimony in NC is for marriages that lasted for 20 years or more or if the spouse seeking maintenance cannot support themselves due to age or disability.

How to Terminate Alimony in NC?

Despite the possibility for alimony to last more than 10 years or even permanent, there are chances that it would get terminated which include:

  • If the spouse receiving alimony remarries or lives with a new partner in a marriage-like relationship, alimony payments can end.
  • If the spouse paying alimony dies, alimony payments will also end. If either spouse changes their job or gets a significant raise or promotion, the court may modify the alimony payments.
  • In some cases, if both spouses can afford to pay for their living expenses, then the court may decide that there is no need for either spouse to pay any alimony.

If you are considering a divorce in North Carolina, make sure you have a good lawyer on your side. Mercedes Chut is an experienced alimony lawyer in NC who can help you get the best possible outcome for your alimony case. With her knowledge of the law and her ability to negotiate with opposing counsel, she can help you get the fair result you deserve. Call today and have an appointment with us.

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