Post separation support, or PSS, is temporary support paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse for some indefinite period of time after separation and is intended to address the immediate needs of the dependent spouse. In making its determination for PSS, the court shall consider the financial needs of the parties, the parties’ accustomed standard of living, the present employment income and other recurring earnings of each party from any source, their income-earning abilities, the separate and marital debt service obligations, those expenses reasonably necessary to support each of the parties, and each party’s respective legal obligations to support any other persons.
Marital misconduct may or may not play a large role in a post separation support hearing. The N.C. General Statutes provide that in a post separation support hearing, the court shall consider any marital misconduct by the dependent spouse occurring prior to or on the date of separation in deciding whether to award post separation support and in deciding the amount of post separation support. If evidence is offered regarding the marital misconduct of the dependent spouse, then the judge shall also consider the marital misconduct of the supporting spouse in deciding whether to award post separation support and in deciding the amount of post separation support. Depending on the particular case, if the supporting spouse has more significant marital misconduct than the dependent spouse, then the supporting spouse may not wish to offer evidence of the dependent spouse’s marital misconduct.