Typically, if a civil money judgment is appealed to the North Carolina appellate division, the appellant may request a stay of the execution of that judgment by applying to the court and providing a bond. This is not true in cases where one spouse has been ordered to pay alimony to the other.
N.C.G.S §50-16.7(j) states: “[A]n order for the periodic payment of alimony that has been appealed to the appellate division is enforceable in the trial court by proceedings for civil contempt during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion of any aggrieved party, the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay any order for civil contempt entered for alimony until the appeal is decided if justice requires.”
The legislature has thus authorized the trial court to enforce the alimony award even during its appeal. If the payor does not want to pay the alimony award while the appeal is pending, instead of simply posting a bond with the trial court, the payor must violate the original order by failing to pay his or her spouse; presumably the payee would then file a contempt motion, to be heard by the district court (possibly the same judge who ordered the award and whose judgment you have appealed). Assuming the court finds the payor to be in contempt, that party may then file a motion directly with the appellate division requesting that the contempt motion be stayed until after the appeal is heard. This process is fraught with pitfalls for the payor, including possible incarceration while awaiting a decision from the appellate division on the stay.
If you intend to appeal an alimony judgment, as painful as it is, it is usually best to pay as ordered during the pending appeal and then hope for an award of reimbursement or credit upon completion of a successful appeal.