Paying alimony while on appeal?

I am getting more confused the more I read! I have been granted alimony, a 26 yr marriage, stay at home mom of 2 now grown children. I am to get 1200.00 a month for 5 measly years. I have found a job, but not one that pays the bills, thus the alimony. I wonder what I am suppose to do after 5 years? I am 56 now. The question is he has appealed the alimony so I have taken action by bringing a contempt order. Will he be required to pay while we wait for the appeal? It took 5 years to get through ED and alimony. I am hearing it could be years for the appeal to be heard. My lawyer says the law is clear and he will have to pay during the appeal, his lawyer says they will “immediately move the Court of Appeals to stay any judgement entered for same for the duration of the appeal” Which is correct?

Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294 or G.S. 1-289, an 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 an 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.

Generally, court orders are enforceable during the appeal process, but a party can ask the court to stay the judgment while the appeal process occurs.