Alimony is an allowance made to a divorced spouse by a former spouse for support and maintenance. Postseparation support, formerly called temporary alimony, may be awarded “until the earlier of either the date specified in the order of postseparation support, or an order awarding or denying alimony,” according to North Carolina General Statutes Section 50-16.1 A(4).
With both alimony and postseparation support, a dependent spouse is defined as a husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse. The supporting spouse is defined as a spouse, whether husband or wife, upon whom the other spouse is actually substantially dependent for maintenance and support or from whom such spouse is substantially in need of maintenance and support.
North Carolina law dictates that the amount and duration of an alimony award is in the discretion of the trial judge. Although some states offer some method to calculate alimony, North Carolina does not. North Carolina General Statutes Section 50-16.3A, also known as the North Carolina Alimony Statute, sets out several factors a trial judge will consider when awarding alimony.
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