Post-Separation Support in Wake County
Separation is hard both emotionally and financially. It’s not unusual for one spouse to find that it’s extremely difficult to maintain a household on a single income. It’s even worse when the spouse cannot work or has not worked for some time. A separation presents difficult financial challenges. Whether you stayed at home to support your spouse’s career or don’t make enough money on your own, you might qualify for post-separation support. This temporary form of support will help you meet your financial obligations until you receive post-divorce support in the form of alimony.
North Carolina doesn’t have a spousal support calculator, meaning the amount you receive is at the judge’s discretion based on the factors presented to the judge. It’s wise to have a post-separation support lawyer by your side in this process.
Who Qualifies for Post-Separation Support?
Your lawyer will help you determine if you qualify. Basic requirements include:
- You are legally married.
- You are financially dependent on the supporting spouse.
- You don’t have the resources to meet your obligations or maintain the standard of
living you enjoyed during the marriage.
- The other spouse can afford to pay spousal support.
Marital Misconduct And Post-Separation Support
The judge considers numerous factors when awarding spousal support, including marital misconduct that occurred prior to the separation. If a spouse committed marital misconduct, he or she could still receive post-separation support. However, the judge might reduce the amount and duration of the support as a result. A spouse can be barred from receiving alimony due to marital misconduct. Thus, after temporary support expires, a spouse who has committed marital misconduct will likely not be eligible to receive long-term support.
It’s important to remember that the judge can also consider marital misconduct by the supporting spouse. If that spouse engaged in such conduct, they might be ordered to pay a higher amount of support. Your post-separation support lawyer can help you present evidence to prove any misconduct.
Duration Of Post-Separation Support
Post-separation support is meant to be a short-term bridge to long-term alimony, if applicable. The judge will set a date for it to expire when issuing the order. Typically, the judge puts the order in place for a term long enough to last until a full hearing on alimony.
Also, your support could come to an end if you get a job and can handle your expenses, or you reconcile with your spouse. In addition, the order might terminate if you begin living with a romantic partner who is not your spouse.
Modifying Post-Separation Support
If your circumstances change, your lawyer can ask the court to modify the agreement. However, the court will not modify the agreement solely because one party has experienced a minor financial change. If you are unsure if you qualify for a modification, consult with an attorney. If you meet the threshold for a modification, your attorney can draft your pleadings and present your case for you.
What If The Supporting Spouse Refuses To Pay?
If you have been awarded post-separation spousal support, you can take enforcement action if the supporting spouse fails to pay. Your attorney can report the lack of payment to the court. Then, the court can take steps to get the money, including garnishing wages and seizing property. In addition, the supporting spouse can be arrested for contempt of court.