Alimony, or spousal support, is paid to a dependent spouse by a supporting spouse. In North Carolina, spousal support is generally based on need. But there are many factors that contribute to the court’s decision to award alimony including the length of the marriage, earning capacity, age, standard of living during the marriage and contributions of the dependent spouse to the supporting spouse’s education, training or earning power.
Infidelity plays a part in whether alimony is awarded. If the dependent spouse commits adultery prior to the separation, alimony will not be awarded. If the supporting spouse commits adultery prior to the separation, alimony will be automatically awarded. If both spouses commit adultery, the court can still award alimony. However, keep in mind that any alimony award of the court is modifiable.
You can also come to an alimony settlement by agreement. They can fix the term and make the award non modifiable. Spousal support typically stops at re-marriage of or cohabitation of the dependent spouse, or death of either spouse. Also remember that, for the supporting spouse, alimony is tax deductible while the dependent spouse must pay tax on that income.