In the months following separation, it is not uncommon for estranged spouses to find themselves in financially stressful situations. This financial distress intensifies if, during the marriage, one spouse was fully or partially dependent on the other spouse for economic support. This unfortunate reality is compounded by the lengthy nature of court proceedings. North Carolina, acknowledging this economic hardship felt by dependent spouses, therefore recognizes a legal claim for post-separation support, or a monthly monetary award to the dependent spouse.
Post-separation support, oft referred to as temporary alimony, will be awarded if the following conditions are met:
One spouse is a dependent spouse, or substantially reliant on the supporting spouse for financial assistance;
One spouse is a supporting spouse;
The dependent spouse has inadequate resources to meet his or her reasonable needs; and
The supporting spouse, after taking into consideration all reasonable and necessary expenses, has an ability to support the dependent spouse.
In determining how much post-separation support to award, the court considers the following factors: present income from any and all sources of both the supporting spouse and dependent spouse, the standard of living to which parties became accustomed during the marriage, earning potential and reasonably necessary expenses each party is obligated to pay each month.
Unlike in alimony determinations, marital misconduct by either party does not function as complete bar (if by the dependent spouse) or an automatic award (if by the supporting spouse). However, if the supporting spouse produces evidence of marital misconduct on the part of the dependent spouse, the court must consider that evidence and any evidence of marital misconduct on the part of the supporting spouse, if the defendant spouse offers it.
Bell & Bell Law Firm has tremendous experience with making and defending against claims for post-separation support. If you are in need of temporary alimony, contact us online to talk to a legal separation lawyer. Or call 855-322-2355 today.