In North Carolina, we have both post-separation spousal support and alimony. Alimony is more thorough and is the final order unless otherwise modified later. Post-separation spousal support is designed to provide benefit between the time in which the separation occurs and the point when an alimony order is entered. Post-separation support is a temporary order. In each case, the supporting spouse is the party that may have to pay post-separation support or alimony. A supporting spouse is the spouse who has the larger share of income and assets.
One spouse may have a lower income but have considerable assets from which they don’t have a rent or mortgage. In this case, they may not end up being a dependent spouse or someone who needs alimony or post-separation support.
Both alimony and post-separation support are considered on fault. Therefore, if a particular party is a dependent spouse who is at fault for the separation, they may not be entitled to support, depending on the circumstances. For instance, the court may find that the reason that the supporting spouse left the marriage was because the dependent spouse was physically abusive. In this case, the dependent spouse would not be entitled to alimony or post-separation support.
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