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Sorey v. Sorey

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

May 6, 2014

RODNEY WILSON SOREY, Plaintiff,
v.
MELISSA LYNN SOREY, Defendant

Heard in the Court of Appeals: January 23, 2014.

Beaufort County. No. 12-CVD-1185. Darrell B. Cayton, Jr., Judge.

Hassell, Singleton, Mason & Jones, P.A., by Sid Hassell, Jr., for plaintiff-appellee.

Windy H. Rose, for defendant-appellant.

STROUD, Judge. Judges Robert N. HUNTER, Jr. and DILLON concur.

OPINION

Page 519

STROUD, Judge.

Appeal by defendant from Order entered 13 May 2013 by Judge Darrell B. Cayton, Jr. in District Court, Beaufort County.

Melissa Sorey (" defendant" ) appeals from an order entered 13 May 2013 denying her request for post-separation support on the basis of marital misconduct. We affirm.

I. Background

Rodney Sorey (" plaintiff" ) and defendant were married on 11 July 1987 and separated on 27 August 2011. The parties have four adult children and one minor niece whom they have raised as one of their children. Plaintiff filed an action for absolute divorce in Beaufort County on 28 December 2012. Defendant answered and raised a counter-claim for post-separation support and alimony. Plaintiff then replied, alleging that defendant had committed marital misconduct prior to the date of separation in that she had " constructively abandoned the Plaintiff by dumping his clothes on the front porch of his son's residence and by repeated illicit liaisons with various men" and that she " has engaged in illicit sexual behavior during the marriage and before the separation with other men."

The trial court held a hearing on the issue of post-separation support on 29 April 2013. At the hearing, the trial court took evidence and heard testimony by the parties and two of their adult sons. By order entered 13 May 2013, the trial court denied defendant's request for post-separation support because it found that defendant had committed two forms of marital misconduct: illicit sexual behavior and abandonment. Defendant filed written notice of appeal from the trial court's order on 17 May 2013.

II. Appellate Jurisdiction

Defendant appeals from the trial court's denial of her motion for post-separation support. Post-separation support orders are interlocutory. Stephenson v. Stephenson, 55 N.C.App. 250, 251, 285 S.E.2d 281, 281 (1981). Although orders allowing post-separation support do not affect a substantial right, see, e.g., Rowe v. Rowe, 131 N.C.App. 409, 411, 507 S.E.2d 317, 319 (1998), that rule does not apply where the dependent spouse's request for post-separation support was denied by the ...


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