What is a supporting spouse?
A supporting spouse in North Carolina is “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.”
What is a defendant spouse?
A dependent spouse in North Carolina is “a spouse, whether 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.”
What does “actually and substantially dependent” mean?
Determining if one spouse is actually and substantially dependent on the other spouse requires significant legal examination by a judge. Thankfully, North Carolina alimony law (§ 50-16.3A) provides specific factors the judge must consider. Read about the 16 relevant factors to determine if you have to pay spousal support in North Carolina.
Do I have to pay spousal support in North Carolina?
To determine if you have to pay alimony (also called spousal support), you need to work with a spousal support lawyer so they can compare your circumstances with North Carolina alimony laws. Alimony payments can be expensive, so be sure you find a North Carolina alimony lawyer who works with an alimony investigator to help. Before you meet with your spousal support lawyer, learn what North Carolina law says about spouse support guidelines.
Either spouse may ask the court to order alimony payments. The law compels the judge to award alimony if the judge finds (a) one spouse is a dependent spouse, (b) the other spouse is a supporting spouse, (c) an award of alimony is equitable after considering all relevant factors.
Do I have to pay alimony in North Carolina if my spouse cheated on me?
If the judge determines the dependent spouse participated in an act of “illicit sexual behavior” during the marriage (before or on the date of separation), North Carolina law forbids the judge from making the supporting spouse pay alimony to the dependent spouse. Illicit sexual behavior means acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in § 14-27.20(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse. In other words, if the dependent spouse had sexual contact with another person before you separated, you don’t have to pay alimony. You bear the responsibility to prove to the court’s satisfaction that you should not be obligated to pay, so hiring an alimony investigator in North Carolina strengthens your case.
Do I have to pay alimony in North Carolina if I cheated on my spouse?
If the judge determines the supporting spouse participated in an act of “illicit sexual behavior” during the marriage (before or on the date of separation), North Carolina law requires the judge to make the supporting spouse pay alimony to the dependent spouse. Illicit sexual behavior means acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts defined in § 14-27.20(4), voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse. In other words, if you had sexual contact with another person before you separated from your dependent spouse, the court will likely order you to pay alimony.
Do I have to pay alimony in North Carolina if we both cheated on each other?
If the judge determines both the supporting spouse and the dependent spouse cheated on each other, the judge determines alimony without considering either spouse’s sexual improprieties, so it’s important to hire an alimony detective to prove your dependent spouse cheated or is living with someone else as if they are married.
Do I have to pay alimony in North Carolina if I forgave or condoned my spouse after they cheated on me?
According to North Carolina law, if you forgive your spouse after they cheat and then resume your marital relationship, the judge will not consider the sexual improprieties.
How long do I have to pay alimony in North Carolina?
While North Carolina law does not specify how long you have to pay alimony, The Hart Law Firm, P.A. explains here that most North Carolina counties follow an unwritten rule of awarding alimony for half the length of the marriage (e.g. ten years of marriage results in five years of alimony). You may shorten this obligation if you hire an alimony investigator in North Carolina.
How do I stop paying alimony in North Carolina?
North Carolina law (§ 50-16.9(b)) requires the court to terminate alimony payments in three circumstances:
- When the dependent spouse remarries
- When the dependent spouse cohabitates with another as if married
- When either the dependent or supporting spouse dies
If you hire an alimony investigator in North Carolina, you may be able to terminate your alimony obligation.
What does cohabitate mean?
Cohabitation means, “the act of two adults dwelling together continuously and habitually in a private heterosexual relationship, even if this relationship is not solemnized by marriage, or a private homosexual relationship.” Basically, if two people are living together as if married, they are cohabitating. So, how do you prove cohabitation to stop alimony payments?
How do I prove cohabitation?
The law provides general guidance on proving cohabitation. Specifically, you need to prove “the voluntary mutual assumption of those marital rights, duties, and obligations which are usually manifested by married people, and which include, but are not necessarily dependent on, sexual relations.” That’s great, but how can you prove this? The short answer: you need to hire a private investigator to get the evidence you need to prove cohabitation. Proving cohabitation to stop alimony is not an easy task. You need an investigator who knows how to prove cohabitation. What is proof of cohabitation? In short, you need to prove the dependent spouse is actually living with the new partner over a sustained period of time and that they share household duties. Your spousal support lawyer and private investigator for cohabitation work together to determine the best strategy for your case. To build a solid case, you need a thorough surveillance investigation by a licensed cohabitation detective.
Can I afford to fight alimony?
Can you afford not to? You need to know if spending money to end or modify alimony payments is worth it. To do this, you should sit down with your attorney and let them help you through the numbers. Alimony payment usually add up to a lot of money over years of time. The sooner you can stop those payments, the better off you will be. Determine how much you expect to pay in alimony in total, then see if your attorney thinks fighting is the right choice. If ending alimony payments is worth it in your case, figure out how much you’re willing to budget for a licensed private detective to get evidence of cohabitation. Your investigator works within your budget to get evidence to stop alimony payments.