Alimony is generally awarded either in a divorce case or in a separate maintenance action where a party wants to remain married while living separately and needs support from the other party in order to do so. A judge or jury will determine whether an award of alimony is appropriate as well as the amount and length of time it must be paid. Awarding alimony in Atlanta takes many considerations and thorough deliberation, so it is advisable to seek guidance from a skilled spousal support attorney before entering litigation.
There are three types of spousal support that can be awarded. Periodic alimony is awarded in monthly payments that typically terminate upon the death of the receiving or paying spouse. A lump-sum alimony award involves a specified amount to be paid off by a certain date. Finally, an in-kind alimony may be awarded as separate property or other tangible assets.
Alimony can be paid in various ways. For instance, periodic alimony payments typically involve defined, recurring pay periods, but the courts may split it up for cash flow purposes or to facilitate two payments per month. Other arrangements can be made based on how often a person is paid by their job.
How long spousal support payments will last depends on several factors. Awarding alimony in Atlanta could last for as little as a couple of months or as long as a lifetime. It may also be influenced by a person’s ability to pay and whether there is a need for support for that length of time.
Either spouse is eligible for alimony and can be awarded spousal support. It is typically awarded to a spouse who has not worked during their marriage. A party who did not earn income during their marriage for health reasons or left their career to take care of their children may be awarded alimony. However, a party whose adultery is the cause of their separation would be barred from receiving spousal maintenance payments.
Determining alimony payments involves examining the parties’ marriage, the length of their union, their roles, their earning capacities, their educational backgrounds, how long they were out of the workforce, and their expenses. Factors such as remarriage or whether a party lives in a house with someone other than spouse can also impact a spousal maintenance award. The courts would also consider whether one spouse is able to support themselves after their divorce and may award alimony if they cannot do so on their own.
The financial information of both spouses of in terms of tax returns, pay stubs, and financial statements can help a judge decide an appropriate support amount. They may also summon a financial expert to help sift through those records to determine a spouse’s true earnings, including any personal expenses paid by their company.
The tribunal may also request evidence of a party’s contributions to their marriage. A claimant and their legal representation may build a case to establish how they helped care for the household and kids as well as how they fostered their children’s career building. The courts would also need evidence of mental or health issues that prevent them from earning income before awarding alimony in Atlanta.