If you are getting divorced or are separated in North Carolina, the process can be financially challenging. It can be hard to know what the future holds. At Routh Law, we know how difficult it can be to have your financial security in question. You may have questions about how spousal support works and what you should expect in terms of support once your divorce is finalized. Our experienced team can walk you through each step of the divorce process and discuss how your needs might be met through spousal support. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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What is Spousal support?

Spousal support or “alimony” is often a part of divorce proceedings in North Carolina. Alimony is paid by a “supporting spouse,” and is paid to a “dependent spouse.” These payments may take the form of a single lump sum, or may be made on a monthly basis depending on the situation.

Maria and Christina
Maria and Christina

What is a dependant spouse?

A “dependent spouse” is financially dependent on and requires the support of a “supporting spouse” to meet their monthly needs and expenses based on the lifestyle that they became accustomed to during the life of the marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions


Unlike child support, there are no state mandated guidelines to determine spousal support. Instead, the court will take multiple factors into consideration to determine the necessity of alimony or post-separation support, the amount paid, and how long payments should be made.


Post-separation support is different from alimony. It is a short-term type of spousal support, intended to help a dependent spouse meet their “immediate financial needs” until alimony is decided by the court.

Similarly to alimony, it’s calculated based on each party’s financial need, their accustomed standard of living, the income of both individuals, their separate and marital debts, and their expenses, among other factors.


In North Carolina, there are no guidelines as to how long alimony should last. Rather, this is decided by a judge after reviewing the specific facts of each individual case. Still, alimony payments may be terminated earlier than the time period set by the judge if the receiving spouse remarries, cohabitates with another partner, or if one of the spouses dies.

Alimony can also be modified if there is a “substantial change of circumstances” in either the needs of the dependent spouse, or the supporting spouse’s ability to pay.


Alimony can also be modified if there is a “substantial change of circumstances” in either the needs of the dependent spouse, or the supporting spouse’s ability to pay.

Do I need a spousal support attorney?

As a skilled negotiator and family law attorney, Kelly Routh can help you get through the difficulties of your divorce settlement in North Carolina, including the alimony and spousal support process. Contact us now to schedule a consultation, and see how we can help you protect your financial future during your divorce.


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Kelly is very responsive and knowledgeable. Going through this process was very difficult and she was there every step of the way. Any time I had a question, she was there to answer and walk me through it. If you want someone who will be by your side every step of the way, Kelly Routh is the attorney for you!


Amazing! 5 stars is not enough to describe the professionalism, knowledge, and determination of Kelly and Brittany. Kelly agreed to take my case after I was run around for 15 months by another Charlotte attorney. I explained my situation and my frustration and Kelly took my case as if she was there from day one. Her knowledge and experience gave her the upper hand and finished my case in just a few months. Without Kelly, I don’t know where my case would be right now. I do know that I went from paying $1750 per month to $750! Kelly is amazing and I would highly recommend her to anyone. She is the best attorney in Charlotte.


If you are reading this review then you have come to the right place for one of the best, if not the best family law attorneys for the greater Charlotte area! As a repeat client, it has been a pleasure having Kelly represent me during not-so-pleasant times. She has all of the attributes one could ask for in an attorney period. Look no further for an attorney that is clear, concise, flexible, and willing to represent you the way you want to be represented.

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