February 4, 2018
In North Carolina, either spouse may waive their right to receive alimony or post-separation support in a premarital or postmarital agreement. An alimony waiver can also be part of a separation agreement. These alimony waiver provisions are generally valid and enforceable as long as they are executed properly.
How to Execute a Valid Alimony Waiver
§ 52-10 states the requirements for executing a binding alimony waiver. If these conditions are met, the alimony waiver is legally enforceable.
- The alimony waiver must be in writing.
- The provision waiving the right to alimony must be clearly stated in the contract.
- The contract must be acknowledged by both parties in front of a notary public or other certifying officer.
There is no requirement that valuable consideration is given in exchange for the alimony waiver. That means that if you agree to waive alimony and don’t receive anything of value in return for this agreement, the contract is still valid.
Consult an Attorney Before Waiving the Right to Receive Alimony
A dependent spouse should always consult an attorney before agreeing to waive the right to receive alimony. You should fully understand the consequences of your actions before signing an alimony waiver.
North Carolina law gives courts a lot of discretion in deciding the amount of alimony and the duration of alimony payments. Because of this, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are giving up by waiving your right to receive alimony. A court may have awarded you alimony payments for the rest of your life or until you remarry or cohabitate with another adult. Be sure to consult with a divorce attorney before you give up this potentially valuable right.
If you are certain you want to sign an alimony waiver, make sure you have full disclosure from your spouse regarding their financial situation, including all of their assets and sources of income. You may want to negotiate for the right to receive certain marital property in exchange for agreeing to an alimony waiver.
You may also have the option of negotiating certain conditions where the alimony waiver does not apply. For example, you may agree to waive alimony, with an exception in the case of any marital infidelity by your spouse. “Sunset provisions” can also be used, where the alimony waiver does not apply if the marriage lasts for a specified period of years.
Consult with an experienced family law attorney to make sure you are protecting your financial interests and fully aware of your rights before signing an alimony waiver.
At King Law Office, we understand the challenges involved in any family law matter. Our goal is to help guide you through this process and listen to your concerns. Come visit us at one of our 12 office locations, including Rutherfordton, Hickory and Greer, South Carolina.