Spousal support in North Carolina takes two forms: Temporary Postseparation Support (PSS) and Alimony, which is typically a longer term obligation. Both forms of spousal support require a finding that one spouse is “dependent” on the other for financial support. While this threshold finding is primarily a financial issue, the amount and duration of alimony is a complex matter, involving the consideration of many factors including the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of the parties, and of course, marital misconduct. Alimony issues are both financially and emotionally intense, and litigation is not uncommon. Mr. Cecil is a frequent courtroom advocate for both dependent and supporting spouses, and both sides of this financial coin can be assured of effective and aggressive representation.
Modification of Spousal Support, Termination of Spousal Support through Cohabitation
Once awarded, alimony may be modified or terminated, provided that a change of circumstances has occurred. Typical grounds for a modification might include an involuntary reduction in the supporting spouse’s income, or an increase in the needs of the dependent spouse. These situations must be addressed by a motion to modify, and Mr. Cecil is well versed in prosecuting and defending such motions.
Alimony is terminated by law at the death or remarriage of the dependent (payee) spouse. However, alimony may also be terminated if the dependent spouse is found to have cohabited with another partner. The definition of cohabitation has been subject to some interpretation by our appellate courts, and litigation in this area is not unusual, as there is often a fine line between a serious dating relationship and a cohabitation arrangement. Mr. Cecil has considerable experience with this issue, and has recently argued before the North Carolina Supreme Court with regard to the definition of cohabitation. This argument resulted in a published opinion from the Court which may be viewed here.