After years of trying to make your marriage work, you and your spouse may be headed toward a divorce. You may have filed the papers, or your spouse filed the paperwork on you.
However it happened, you know that, because you are the dependent spouse, you may qualify for alimony. Before requesting alimony, you should know what may keep you from receiving this support.
North Carolina’s post-separation and alimony requirements
Before you are awarded alimony, you and your spouse should try to come to an agreement about this. In North Carolina, alimony laws hand family court judges a significant amount of freedom in deciding about alimony for you.
They are able to deny or grant alimony. They may create an alimony order that sets the amount you may receive. It also sets the time frame for your alimony.
The two-step process required before alimony is granted
North Carolina regulations require alimony claims to be evaluated in two separate parts. In the first step, you need to convince the court that you are a dependent spouse. This leads to the judge going over several factors, such as the incomes of you and your spouse. The judge also considers whether you are disabled and how this affects your ability to earn money for your basic needs.
In the second step, the judge looks at marital fault. You do not have to prove that your spouse was unfaithful. If your spouse tells the judge that you were unfaithful, the judge considers this. If your spouse does prove you were unfaithful, this may keep you from receiving alimony.
Grounds for a fault divorce
Aside from adultery, other grounds for a fault divorce may include desertion, violence in the marriage, addiction to drugs or alcohol and incurable insanity. If one spouse was treated with such indignity that it made their life or condition intolerable, this may be grounds for a fault divorce.