At King Law Offices, we focus on getting you your fair share of marital property and protecting your parental rights in a divorce. Our attorneys use their expertise and knowledge to provide you sound legal advice, argue on your behalf, and represent you in court proceedings.
What is Marital Misconduct?
Under NCGS 50-16.1A, marital misconduct is defined as “acts of sexual or deviate sexual intercourse, deviate sexual acts, or sexual acts voluntarily engaged in by a spouse with someone other than the other spouse.”
A variety of acts can qualify as marital misconduct, including:
Involuntary separation of spouses in consequence of a criminal act committed before the proceeding in which alimony is sought
Abandonment of one of the spouses
Maliciously throwing the other spouse out of doors
Cruel or barbarous treatment that endangers the other spouse’s life
Indignities rendering the condition of the other spouse’s life intolerable
Reckless spending, the destruction, waste, diversion, or concealment of either party’s income or assets
One spouse’s excessive use of alcohol or drugs, which renders the condition of the other spouse’s life intolerable
Willful failure to provide the necessary support and subsistence according to one spouse’s means and condition rendering the state of that spouse’s life intolerable and burdensome
Our North Carolina divorce attorneys know the factors that courts use to determine if marital misconduct is a factor in your divorce case. We will guide you through the divorce process and keep you advised of progress every step of the way.
Is Marital Misconduct Grounds for Divorce?
North Carolina is one of many “no-fault” divorce states where marital misconduct is not considered grounds for a divorce. However, it is relevant for several different actions that are associated with divorce. If it is proven that you committed any of the above activities, your spouse could get the upper hand in divorce proceedings. Marital misconduct is an essential factor that judges use in determining alimony.
Marital misconduct applies to claims of alimony and support. Alimony refers to the financial support that one former spouse must supply to the other after a divorce. Usually, there are three different ways that marital misconduct impacts alimony and support:
- Supporting spouse commits marital misconduct. The supporting spouse is typically the spouse who earns more money. In this case, the dependent spouse is more likely to receive alimony and support.
- A dependent spouse commits marital misconduct. The dependent spouse is typically the spouse who earns less money. Usually, this will prevent the dependent spouse from receiving support or alimony.
- Suppose both spouses commit marital misconduct. In this circumstance, other factors need to be considered for the award of support or alimony.
Although these general rules apply to marital misconduct, there can be exceptions. If you believe that your spouse committed marital misconduct or if you committed marital misconduct, King Law’s divorce attorneys can explain your legal options after finding out the specifics of your situation.
How Much Alimony Could I be Entitled to, and for how Long?
The alimony amount that could be awarded, and the duration of the award is within the court’s discretion. The court must consider several factors set forth by N.C.G.S. § 50-16.3A(b)(3) when deciding an alimony’s amount and the duration. Additionally, any alimony awarded is not automatically distributed. Instead, the party asserting the claim for alimony must prove that they are entitled to an award under the law. The claim can either be done by agreement or by filing lawsuit making an alimony claim. Then the party asserting an alimony claim must prove one or more of the enumerated factors provided by N.C.G.S. § 50-16.3A(b)(3), including:
- The age and physical, mental, and emotional state of each spouse
- Duration of the marriage
- Both spouses’ earning capacities
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Contributions of one spouse as homemaker
- The earning power and financial obligations of a spouse who serves as custodian and caretaker of a minor child
- Contributions made by one spouse for the other spouse’s education, training, or increased earning capacity
- Both spouse’s assets and liabilities
- Relative needs of the spouses
- Tax considerations
Your spouse’s ability to pay the amount of alimony requested is also a consideration for the court in deciding alimony.
Whether you seek or oppose alimony, a King Law attorney will argue for a fair amount and make sure your issues are heard. We will do the legwork to back up the issues with substantial supporting evidence.
Contact King Law to Represent you in Your Divorce Proceedings
King Law’s divorce lawyers can help you make sense of the divorce process, taking the confusion and stress out of the picture so that you can move forward confidently in your life.
Our team of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers understands the ins and outs of North Carolina family law. They are committed to standing by your side throughout the entirety of the legal process. We are committed to high legal quality and respect, confidentiality, and compassion for our clients.
Our attorneys use excellent defense strategies in the courtroom and can negotiate a win-win situation for your case. When you face a legal issue, you need an experienced lawyer you can trust, and a legal team focused on providing quality services.
Contact us to schedule your consultation or call us at (888) 748-KING today.