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Types of Alimony in North Carolina

Depending on a couple's situation, there are numerous types of short- and long-term alimony (or spousal support) available. If a couple had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that outlined how these spousal support payments would work in the event of a divorce, then a court would go along with that agreement. Otherwise, deciding how much to award, and even whether or not to award alimony in the first place, can be a complex procedure. For unmarried and cohabitating couples, one partner may owe the other "palimony" when they separate, court-ordered support payments that also rely on a complex interaction of factors. Read on to learn more about these court-ordered support payments.

If a married couple splits up, there may be temporary support ordered for the duration of the divorce process itself. Ideally, you and your spouse can create a written agreement about temporary support. That would be one less issue to fight over in court. If you think you are owed temporary support, then it is a good idea to address this issue, even in court if necessary, as soon as possible.

Then there are forms of short-term alimony available after the divorce is finalized. Simple short-term spousal support may be ordered if a marriage did not last long, a case where long-term support could be unwarranted. Then there is rehabilitative support, or "bridge the gap" support. This is in cases where a spouse needs to get further education or specialized training in order to be able to return to the workforce. Typically, this support lasts as long as it takes for the spouse to finish training and to land a job in that field. Just as the paying spouse has the court-ordered to duty to pay support for as long as it takes, the other spouse has the court-ordered responsibility to diligently work on that education and to then diligently seek out work.

Usually for marriages that lasted ten years of more, permanent alimony may be ordered. These long-term spousal support payments would last until either ex passes away, or perhaps when the receiving spouse remarries. This type of support could be ordered when a judge believes that a dependent spouse will not return to the workforce.

Then it is possible for reimbursement support to be ordered by a judge. This is for cases where one spouse gave up education, a good job, or training in order to work at a basic job just so the family could be provided for while the other spouse took training or education for a well-paid profession. Theoretically, the sacrificing spouse would profit in the long run from the other spouse achieving a high-paying career, but if this benefit does not pan out before the marriage dissolves, then the spouse who sacrificed a better career could be entitled to reimbursement support.

Finally, palimony is a support payment that may be available when an unmarried couple breaks up. This would depend on factors that include how long a couple cohabitated, whether they have any written agreements, or if there is some other form of a promise to support the other after a breakup. Other factors could include partners having a disparity in incomes, or perhaps one partner sacrificed a career to support the other partner's career (like above) or to become a homemaker. Palimony may be ordered as one lump-sum payment, or a court may order monthly support payments, just as with alimony.

If you are facing issues with spousal support or palimony, or if you need to create a prenup or cohabitation agreement, then contact Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC, PLLC. Our experienced legal team is committed to doing the utmost for our clients, providing the quality representation and reliable counsel that they deserve. Learn how a dedicated Raleigh divorce lawyer may be able to help you and your family when you reach our firm today.

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