An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.
NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
Filed: 2 May 2006
GEORGIA D. RUSSELL,
No. 02 CVD 1572
Appeal by plaintiff from order entered 11 May 2005 by Judge
William C. Farris in Nash County District Court. Heard in the
Court of Appeals 19 April 2006.
Perry Anthony & Sosna, by Cedric R. Perry, for plaintiff-
Craft Levin & Abney, L.L.P., by Wesley Abney, for defendant-
Georgia D. Russell (plaintiff) appeals from an order entered
awarding her alimony for a period of twelve months. We affirm.
Plaintiff and Larry Russell (defendant) were married on or
about 21 September 1971. The parties separated in January of 2002
and were divorced on 10 April 2003. The issues of alimony and
distribution were heard and the district court entered an equitable
distribution order and awarded plaintiff alimony in the amount of
$400.00 per month for a period of twelve months. Plaintiff
Plaintiff argues the trial court erred in awarding alimony for
only twelve months to plaintiff.
III. Standard of Review
Decisions regarding the amount of alimony are
left to the sound discretion of the trial
judge and will not be disturbed on appeal
unless there has been a manifest abuse of that
discretion. Bookholt v. Bookholt, 136 N.C.
App. 247, 249-50, 523 S.E.2d 729, 731 (1999)
(citing Quick v. Quick, 305 N.C. 446, 453, 290
S.E.2d 653, 658 (1982)). Our Supreme Court has
cautioned this Court to apply our review
strictly and has explained, [A] manifest
abuse of discretion must be made to appear
from the record as a whole with the party
alleging the existence of an abuse bearing the
heavy burden of proof. Worthington v. Bynum
and Cogdell v. Bynum, 305 N.C. 478, 484-85,
290 S.E.2d 599, 604 (1982).
Kelly v. Kelly, 167 N.C. App. 437, 441, 606 S.E.2d 364, 368 (2004).
An abuse of discretion occurs when the ruling is manifestly
unsupported by reason or is so arbitrary that it could not have
been the result of a reasoned decision. Briley v. Farabow, 348
N.C. 537, 547, 501 S.E.2d 649, 656 (1998).
IV. Alimony Award
Plaintiff's sole argument on appeal is that the trial court
abused its discretion in ordering alimony for only twelve months to
plaintiff. We disagree.
Alimony awards are governed by section 50-16.3A of our General
Statutes. This section provides:
The court shall award alimony to the dependent
spouse upon a finding that one spouse is a
dependent spouse, that the other spouse is a
supporting spouse, and that an award of
alimony is equitable after considering all
relevant factors, including those set out in
subsection (b) of this section.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.3A(a) (2005). The duration of the alimony
award may be for a specified or an indefinite term. N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 50-16.3A(b). The statute sets forth sixteen enumerated
factors the court shall consider to award alimony. Id. The
statute further provides, The court shall make a specific finding
of fact on each of the factors in subsection (b) of this section if
evidence is offered on that factor. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-
Here, the trial court found:
15. Plaintiff is the dependent spouse, and
defendant is the supporting spouse. The court
also finds, however that the monthly expenses
alleged by plaintiff are exaggerated. After
consideration of all the statutory factors set
forth in G.S. 50-16.3A(b), the Court finds
that an award to plaintiff of $400.00 per
month, for a period of twelve months, is an
equitable award of alimony in this case. The
said alimony payments shall begin on the first
of the month following entry of judgment in
Plaintiff argues the trial court failed to find how her expenses
were exaggerated or which expenses were exaggerated. Plaintiff
does not dispute the amount of the alimony award, only its
duration. She concedes that her monthly expenses are no more than
her own income plus the $400.00 monthly alimony awarded. The trial
court's finding that plaintiff's alleged monthly expenses were
exaggerated under our standard of review does not require greater
specificity on which of plaintiff's expenses were exaggerated
after the trial court considered all of the relevant factors.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.3A(a). Plaintiff also argues the trial court failed to make findings
of fact on matters in evidence such as the duration of the marriage
and marital misconduct of defendant. Plaintiff has failed to show
or argue which evidence was presented she contends the trial court
failed to make findings upon. N.C. Rule App. 9(a)(1)(e) (2005)
(The record on appeal in civil actions and special proceedings
shall contain . . . so much of the evidence . . . as is necessary
for an understanding of all errors assigned.). This assignment of
error is dismissed.
Plaintiff has failed to show the trial court abused its
discretion in awarding her alimony of $400.00 per month for twelve
month's duration. The trial court's order is affirmed.
Judges GEER and JACKSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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