There are two common forms of Spousal Support in North Carolina:
- Post Separation Support
Either party to the marriage may apply for support depending on financial need. Post Separation Support, or what divorce lawyers may refer to as PSS, is temporary financial support pending divorce.
Alimony is spousal support normally paid upon the divorce of the parties, as may be appropriate. Alimony is not automatic in North Carolina and is subject to important timing requirements (statutes of limitations).
“PSS used to be called ‘Temporary Alimony.’ It tends to last for a limited period time. While they may be related in certain parts, PSS and Alimony are separate, distinct legal issues.”
– Bill Powers, Charlotte Divorce Lawyer
Post Separation Support normally continues until such time as the parties may execute (sign) an agreement for Alimony, if any, or until a Family Court Judge may formally rule on an award of Alimony.
Prior to an Alimony Award (after trial) there must first be a formal finding of dependency, supported by sufficient Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
Only then may the Judge rule one party to be a “dependent spouse” and the other the “supporting spouse.” It frankly can get a bit complicated.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Spousal support is separate and distinct from Child Support in NC.
Determining the amount and duration of alimony (and PSS) may be a hotly disputed issue in divorce court.
Prior to agreeing to any form of spousal support, including signing legal documents regarding PSS or Alimony, we recommend you obtain professional legal advice from an experienced Divorce Lawyer in Charlotte.
Failure to do so may result in unintended, long-term financial consequences.