A Mecklenburg County judge rescinded an outstanding arrest warrant for former professional wrestler Ric “Nature Boy” Flair.
The WWE Hall of Famer had not visited North Carolina since the judge issued the warrant in June 2014 for misdemeanor failure to pay spousal support. Court records indicate that Mr. Flair, whose legal name is Richard Fliehr, owed $33,000 in past-due spousal support and legal fees to his most recent ex-wife, Jacqueline. At the time, the judge vowed that the warrant would remain outstanding until the balance was paid in full, and payment has apparently been made.
During his 40-year professional career, 67-year-old Ric Flair won multiple championship titles from the NWA, WCW, and WWF.
Spousal Support in North Carolina
Many states, including New Jersey and Illinois, have modified their alimony laws in recent years to limit the circumstances in which spousal support is awarded, as well as the amount and duration of payments. These changes came in response to critics who claimed that perpetual alimony was an unfair burden on payers and that the alimony system was effectively outdated.
But that is not the case here. In fact, according to Section 50-16.3A of the General Statutes, if the judge denies spousal support, there must be specific findings of fact in the record to support that denial. Otherwise, alimony is allowable if it would be “equitable” to make such an order. Additionally, one spouse must be “dependent” and the other one “supporting,” but these terms are not defined in this section.
There are a number of factors that the judge can consider in setting the amount and duration of payments. They include:
- Fault in the breakup of the marriage;
- Current and future earnings of the spouses;
- Relative age and health;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Noneconomic contributions to the marriage;
- Standard of living during the marriage; and
- “Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.”
Recrimination, which is the common-law term applied when both spouses have engaged in extramarital affairs, is a possible ground for the denial of alimony.
Spousal support can be modified or vacated at any time by a finding that circumstances of one or both parties have materially and substantially changed. Such a situation may include the:
- Dependent spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation;
- Supporting spouse’s job change or retirement;
- Dependent spouse’s increased income; or
- Increase in value of other property awarded to the dependent spouse in the divorce.
Typically, the supporting spouse must be current on all payments. Furthermore, in most cases, a North Carolina court has no jurisdiction over another state’s spousal maintenance award, regardless of residency.
Attorneys Who Stand Up For You
Spousal support is a common part of many family law cases in North Carolina. For a confidential consultation with our Charlotte family law attorneys who stand up for your legal and financial rights, contact Remington & Dixon, PLLC.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.