North Carolina marriages fall apart for many reasons. Sometimes, it is the actions of one party that serve as a catalyst for the demise of the marriage. In North Carolina, certain actions may constitute what the state considers to be “marital misconduct.” Marital misconduct does not factor in during discussions about child support, child custody or asset division. However, it does play a role in determining whether either party in the marriage must pay alimony.
Per the North Carolina Legislature, if the supporting spouse steps out on the marriage, he or she may have to pay the other party alimony. The same holds true if the supporting spouse engages in other behaviors the state may consider to be marital misconduct.
Behaviors that may constitute marital misconduct
The supporting spouse may have to pay the other party alimony if he or she engages in illicit sexual behaviors outside the marriage. If one party in the marriage abandons the other party or engages in cruel or barbarous treatment of him or her, this may also count as marital misconduct. Sometimes, reckless spending or excessive drinking or drug use may also constitute marital misconduct, depending on circumstances.
Alimony awards after marital misconduct
If only the supporting spouse cheated in a North Carolina marriage, that party should expect to have to pay alimony. If both parties stepped outside the marriage, the court may consider other factors before deciding whether to award alimony.
When it comes to alimony in North Carolina, “supporting spouse” refers to the party in the marriage whom the other depends on financially.