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Infidelity and alimony in North Carolina

Your spouse cheated on you and this infidelity led to the painful decision to divorce. It is a heartbreaking position to be in, and in addition to the emotional pain, you likely have many financial concerns now that you are trying to support yourself on your own. If you find yourself in this position, you will want to learn more about the basics of alimony in North Carolina and how infidelity affects alimony in the Tar Heel State.

Alimony basics in North Carolina

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support in other states, is monthly payments one spouse makes to the other spouse following a divorce. The “dependent spouse” is the spouse who receives alimony, and the “supporting spouse” is the spouse paying alimony.

There is not a specific formula that North Carolina courts follow to calculate alimony. It is determined on a case-by-case basis. Some factors the judge will consider include:

  • Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • The amount of education each spouse has
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage

While this list is not all exhaustive, it is important to note that marital misconduct is also a factor the judge will consider when determining alimony.

Infidelity and alimony

Both men and women can be either dependent spouses or supporting spouses in North Carolina. However, if a dependent spouse is unfaithful to the supporting spouse during the course of their marriage, the dependent spouse loses their right to alimony. Alternatively, if the supporting spouse was unfaithful to the dependent spouse during the course of their marriage, the supporting spouse is required to pay alimony.

If both spouses were unfaithful, it is up to the judge to decide whether alimony is appropriate. There is also an exception if the infidelity was forgiven by the spouse harmed by it.

Being cheated on is painful, demoralizing and a huge breach of trust and many marriages cannot survive it. If you are in this situation, you will want to make sure you understand alimony laws in North Carolina and how they apply to your case.