Alimony Lawyer Serving the Raleigh, NC, Area


When determining whether to award alimony, the process is much like awarding post-separation support. The court will first determine if there is a dependent spouse and a supporting spouse. Once the court determines that a dependent spouse and a supporting spouse exist, the court takes into consideration many factors to determine whether alimony should be awarded, the amount of alimony awarded and the length of time alimony is awarded.

The court has wide discretion in awarding alimony and considers all relevant factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, length of marriage, income of parties, income-earning abilities of parties, ages of parties, physical and emotional health of parties, accustomed standard of living during the marriage, contributions of a spouse as a homemaker during the marriage, and marital misconduct of both parties before and on the date of separation.

There are many types of marital misconduct that a judge may consider. They include abandonment, maliciously turning the other spouse out of doors, cruel or barbarous treatment that endangers the life of the other spouse, excessive use of alcohol or drugs that renders the conduct of the other spouse intolerable and makes life burdensome, and illicit sexual behavior.

It is important to note that if the dependent spouse has committed “illicit sexual behavior” before or on the date of separation, then this is a complete bar to receiving alimony. However, if both spouses have committed illicit sexual acts during the marriage, then the acts of the dependent spouse are no longer a bar to alimony.

If a spouse has committed illicit sexual behavior and admits such to the other spouse and they resume the marital relationship or sexual relations, the court may find that the misconduct was forgiven or “condoned” by the other spouse. However, the misconduct is only considered forgiven if the offending spouse does not engage in misconduct again.

Alimony terminates at a date that the judge orders, upon death of either the dependent spouse or the supporting spouse, upon remarriage of the dependent spouse, or upon the dependent spouse continuously or habitually cohabitating with another individual in a marriage-like relationship.

We serve Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and surrounding counties.