North Carolina Alimony Laws Cohabitation

North Carolina Alimony Laws Cohabitation

In North Carolina, alimony may be awarded to a dependent spouse by the court based on a consideration of factors. Once ordered by a court, an alimony order may be terminated or modified based on a change in the income of one or both of the spouses, death of one the spouses, remarriage of the dependent spouse, or cohabitation of the dependent spouse.

Pursuant to North Carolina law, a dependent spouse may not continue to receive alimony once that spouse has begun cohabitating with another person with whom they are in a relationship. While there are many gray areas on what exactly constitutes cohabitation, it is typically proven by showing a relationship that provides economic benefits to the dependent spouse similar to those that would be provided by marriage. However, the supporting spouse (the spouse paying alimony) must institute a proceeding to terminate alimony on the ground of cohabitation in order to be relieved of the previous alimony order. A spouse may not on one’s own stop paying alimony on the ground of cohabitation. A court order must be issued that terminates alimony.

It is important for both the supporting spouse and the dependent spouse to be aware of the grounds for modification and termination of an alimony order so that each is prepared and understands the consequences of a change in circumstances that would warrant modification. If you are concerned about a termination or modification of alimony based on cohabitation of the dependent spouse or based on another ground, contact the attorneys at Mulligan Epstein today. We offer competent and efficient representation to spouses concerning alimony issues.