Many individuals who are getting a divorce or legal separation may need spousal support or alimony to help them maintain their standard of living. Support payments can be critical to helping a person start their new life, including changing residences or moving out of the marital home.
A Marietta spousal support lawyer is here to help you. They could review your case and advise you on whether you might be eligible for spousal support. If so, a detail-oriented family attorney could petition a court to grant you the support payments you need.
Spousal support, referred to as alimony in Georgia, consists of one or more payments made by one individual to their former spouse during or after their divorce. The purpose of alimony is to enable the spouse receiving payments to adapt to life after the divorce and cope with the loss of their spouse’s income.
Alimony in Georgia may be temporary or permanent depending on the specific circumstances. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-3, courts may grant temporary alimony while a divorce is pending. In some cases, temporary alimony may include litigation expenses or attorney’s fees.
An individual must include a request for temporary alimony in their divorce complaint, and a court will receive evidence from both parties. A court generally has complete discretion when deciding whether to grant temporary alimony. A Marietta spousal support attorney can explain temporary alimony and how to receive it.
By contrast, permanent alimony refers to one or more payments made after the divorce is finalized. Individuals may request permanent alimony in cases of divorce or legal separation, according to O.C.G.A. §19-6-4.
Permanent alimony may be either one lump sum payment or a series of periodic payments, generally made every month, for a specific period. Generally, alimony payments end if the person receiving them remarries.
Courts generally decide the amount of alimony on a case-by-case basis, considering the following factors, as per O.C.G.A. §19-6-5:
In many situations, one of the most important factors in granting alimony is whether one spouse has greater earnings, income, or assets than the other. A person may also receive alimony if they contributed to the marriage in significant, non-financial ways, such as by being a stay-at-home parent or suspending their career in order to support their spouse.
In some cases, divorcing spouses may have signed a previous agreement relating to alimony. Such agreements may forbid alimony entirely or may place a limit on alimony payments.
Generally, Georgia courts will enforce alimony provisions in marital agreements unless such provisions are clearly unconscionable. Those that have further questions on the effect of marital agreements on alimony should consult a Marietta spousal support lawyer.
If you need assistance obtaining, or changing, your spousal support, be sure to consult a qualified Marietta attorney. They could make your life easier and increase your chances of obtaining the support award that you need.
A lawyer with experience helping individuals obtain their support payments could work with you and advise you of your legal options. They could also keep you updated on your case and ensure you are properly informed at every step of the way. Spousal support issues can be complex. Call a Marietta spousal support lawyer today for assistance.