As used in this Chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
Postseparation support may be ordered in an action for divorce, whether absolute or from bed and board, for annulment, or for alimony without divorce. However, if postseparation support is ordered at the time of the entry of a judgment of absolute divorce, a claim for alimony must be pending at the time of the entry of the judgment of divorce.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.1A