What is the difference between Post Separation Support and Alimony?
There are two types of spousal support in North Carolina: post separation support and alimony. The timing of when the support is paid is the biggest difference between the two types.
- Post separation support is considered an interim or temporary spousal support award that a court can award during separation of the parties.
- Alimony is considered a final order for spousal support that typically is ordered towards the end of the separation period or divorce process.
Both types of spousal support require proof that one spouse is the dependent spouse and the other spouse is the supporting spouse.
Post separation support requires additional proof that the dependent spouse’s resources are inadequate to meet his or her reasonable needs and the supporting spouse has the ability to pay.
How is Spousal Support determined?
The court looks at many factors when considering whether to award post separation support or alimony. Some of these factors include:
- The earnings and earning capacities of both spouses
- The spouses’ age, physical, mental and emotional conditions
- The length of the marriage
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education of the other spouse during the marriage
- Whether being the primary custodian of the minor children will affect that spouses’ income earning ability
- The needs of the spouses
- Whether one spouse was a home-maker during the marriage
- The property brought to the marriage
- The assets and liabilities of the spouses
- Marital misconduct
How do I protect my financial future?
If you think you may be entitled to spousal support, or your spouse is claiming spousal support, it is important to consult an attorney. Spousal support claims are not always straight forward and require documentation. The guidance and counsel that an attorney can provide may make all the difference in protecting your financial future.