Post-Separation Support

Post-Separation Support (“PSS”) is a “temporary alimony,” or a temporary type of financial support. It is defined as spousal support that is to be paid until the earlier of either the date specified in the PSS order, or an order awarding or denying alimony. To qualify for PSS, a party must prove:

  1. The parties were lawfully married;
  2. The party seeking PSS is a dependent spouse;
  3. The party from whom he or she is seeking PSS is a supporting spouse;
  4. The dependent spouse does not have the resources to meet his or her financial needs; and
  5. The supporting spouse has the ability to pay the PSS.

In making a determination for PSS, a court will base its decision on several factors including the financial needs of the parties, the standard of living to which the parties have become accustom, the parties’ employment as well as their ability to produce income, separate and marital debt, reasonable expenses, and any obligations owed to third parties. The purpose behind PSS is allow and enable the dependent spouse to meet reasonable needs.

It is interesting to note that this is an area of North Carolina family law where marital misconduct is considered. According to the N.C.G.S. § 50-16.2A, “a judge shall consider marital misconduct by the dependent spouse occurring prior to or on the date of separation in deciding whether to award postseparation support and in deciding the amount of postseparation support. When the judge considers these acts by the dependent spouse, the judge shall also consider any marital misconduct by the supporting spouse in deciding whether to award postseparation support and in deciding the amount of postseparation support.”

Finally, an order of PSS will terminate, in accordance with the above statute, when and if:

  1. The parties resume marital relations;
  2. The dependent spouse remarries or cohabitates; or
  3. Either the dependent or supporting spouse dies.

At Rech Law, P.C., we can help you to understand the intricacies of Post-Separation Support, whether you would be eligible for receiving it, whether it would be a possibility that you may be ordered to pay it, and how it ties into alimony.