How Long Does Alimony Typically Last in North Carolina?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Jun 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you're contemplating divorce, you may already know how stressful and emotional the process can be. Finances are one area where it's sometimes possible to mitigate the impact. Alimony is one way to accomplish this. In North Carolina, “dependent spouses” (those financially dependent on a spouse) are entitled to receive alimony from the “supporting spouse.”

Post-Separation Support

Most of the decisions regarding alimony are left up to the judge's discretion. North Carolina law doesn't have any guidance or formula for calculating alimony payments, nor does it have any regulation around how long the support payments will continue. Again, the judge will determine this based on the facts presented by the case.

What Factors Impact the Judge's Decision?

According to state statutes, there is a lengthy list of factors that can influence how the judge awards alimony. If the dependent spouse cheats on the supporting spouse prior to separation, they lose their right to alimony; on the flip side, if a supporting spouse cheats prior to separation, they will be forced to pay alimony. When both parties cheat, the judge can exercise their discretion. Finally, if either spouse has “forgiven” or “condoned” the cheating, there's an exception to the above guidelines.

Is There Any Circumstance Where Alimony is Guaranteed to Stop?

Yes, there is. Whether the judge determines that alimony should last for ten years, two years, or indefinitely, alimony will terminate under certain circumstances. If the dependent spouse remarries or moves in with another romantic partner, alimony ceases. Also, if either the dependent spouse or supporting spouse dies, alimony will end.

Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorney

If you're facing a divorce in North Carolina, you want to have the best legal guidance by your side. This can be especially important regarding alimony since the determination is completely at the judge's discretion. Here at Jerkins Family Law, we're dedicated to finding the best possible solution for you. Call us today at 919-719-2785 or contact us online to see how we can support you during this challenging time.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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