In North Carolina, there are two ways in which spousal support can be awarded: post-separation support and alimony. Post-Separation Support is spousal support paid after the date of separation and before a determination of alimony is made. Alimony is payment for the financial support of a former spouse, periodically or in a lump sum. Spousal support in North Carolina is intended to be rehabilitative in nature, not punitive. Accordingly, a greater emphasis is placed on the financial conditions of the parties versus their misconduct.