How Alimony is Calculated in North Carolina
North Carolina is unique in comparison to many other states in the treatment and determination of alimony between two spouses. In North Carolina, there are no set guidelines for a determination of alimony, and the alimony award may vary based on the judge assigned to a specific case. Alimony is paid by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse. Alimony is determined, in large part, by the length of the marriage and the financial status of each of the parties involved in the action. Generally, the longer the marriage and the more financial differentiation between the spouses, the more likely an award of alimony will be issued. However, there are no guarantees for an award of alimony or amount of alimony in North Carolina. Alimony is an area of large judicial discretion.
Another contemplation for an alimony award that is unique to North Carolina is the consideration of marital misconduct for alimony. In North Carolina, marital misconduct is relevant to the alimony determination. A dependent spouse is barred from alimony if marital misconduct is shown against that spouse and a supporting spouse is required to pay alimony if marital misconduct is shown against that spouse. However, if marital misconduct is shown by both spouses involved in an alimony proceeding the alimony determination will be left again to the discretion of the judge.
Judges have wide discretion in alimony determinations in the State of North Carolina. A judge will determine if an alimony award is issued at all, and what the amount and length of the award will be should an award be ordered. If you are involved in a case or have a potential claim for alimony, our family law attorneys are here to help. Contact the attorneys at Mulligan Epstein for effective representation in your alimony proceeding.