Atlanta, GA Separate Maintenance Lawyer

When a married couple chooses to live separately temporarily or permanently, they could seek separate maintenance. A couple living under separate maintenance remains married but must disentangle their financial lives and make co-parenting arrangements if they have children.

If you and your spouse are considering living separately, the Atlanta GA separate maintenance lawyers at our firm can walk you through the process. Many of the issues you will face will be the same as if you sought a divorce, so you will require the help of a skilled legal professional.

Separate Maintenance Explained

Some states offer couples who want to live apart but are not ready to divorce the option of a legal separation. Separate maintenance is Georgia’s version of this.

The fundamental difference between separate maintenance and divorce is that couples with separate maintenance remain married to each other. They are not free to remarry, and they remain responsible for marital debt. If the spouses decide to reconcile they can do so without having to get married again.

Couples with separate maintenance can file taxes as a married couple, which is often beneficial. One spouse can continue to carry the other on their health insurance and they remain eligible for some marriage-based benefits. Our firm’s Atlanta attorneys can ensure a couple understands the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing separate maintenance.

Requirements to Establish Separate Maintenance

Either spouse can initiate an action for separate maintenance by filing a petition in Georgia family court. Unlike divorce proceedings, there is no minimum length of residency to file for separate maintenance. However, one spouse must live in the county where the petition was filed.

The couple must be able to prove they are separated. That often means living in separate homes and paying household bills separately. However, a couple could theoretically share one home and be separated. An Atlanta attorney would have to prove that they have separate rooms, do not have sexual relations with each other, and present themselves to others as separated.

Separate Maintenance Requires a Separation Agreement

Like divorce, separate maintenance requires a Georgia court to approve a written agreement and incorporate it into a court order. In most cases, the couple negotiates the agreement before filing for separate maintenance, but sometimes the judge must decide the issues in dispute.

If a couple seeking separate maintenance has children, they must submit a parenting plan that includes a detailed parenting schedule and allocation of decision-making responsibility. The Official Code of Georgia § 19-6-15(e) also requires parents requesting separate maintenance to make provisions for child support.

Additionally, one spouse may seek ongoing financial support from the other, and that arrangement should also be included in the separation agreement. The couple may divide their marital property in a separate maintenance arrangement with help from a skilled Atlanta, GA attorney.

Pursue Separate Maintenance With an Atlanta, GA Attorney

There are many valid reasons for a couple to decide on a separation rather than a divorce. Separate maintenance allows them to formalize the arrangement with an enforceable court order.

When you decide you will no longer live with your spouse but do not want a divorce, contact an Atlanta, GA separate maintenance lawyer at our firm. A team member is available to speak with you about your legal needs, so reach out today.

Recent Blog Posts
How Long After Filing for Divorce Is the Spouse Served?
Once you have decided to get a divorce, you might be anxious to get it over with. It can...
Does Georgia Recognize Common Law Marriage?
Couples sometimes decide to make a life together but never formalize it with a marriage. In the past, long-term...
How Long After Being Served Divorce Papers Do I Have to Respond?
Getting served with divorce papers can be a shock. Even when you know your spouse has filed for divorce,...
View All Posts