In many divorces, one spouse or the other may be entitled to alimony or spousal support to help them start a new life. However, many individuals never think about petitioning for spousal support, even if they may be eligible to receive it.

If you are going through a divorce, give a Cobb County spousal support lawyer and get a professional review of your financial situation and that of your spouse. After that, a qualified family attorney could advise you on whether you might be eligible for spousal support and, if so, how much you might be able to receive. They could also help you petition for spousal support and make sure you receive the payments that you need and deserve.

Applicable Spousal Support Laws in Cobb County

Spousal support is often called “alimony” in Georgia, but either term refers to payments made by one spouse to another spouse either during or after a divorce. Either spouse may receive alimony unless they caused the divorce due to adultery or desertion, according to Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-1.

A court generally awards alimony on a case-by-case basis depending on the following factors:

  • Need of the receiving party
  • Ability of the other party to pay
  • Conduct between the two parties

Alimony may take the form of periodic payments, such as monthly payments, or lump-sum payments. A local attorney could provide further clarification about what type and amount of spousal support an individual spouse may be eligible for based on their unique circumstances.

What is Temporary Alimony According to State Law?

The term “temporary alimony” refers to alimony payments paid while the divorce is pending. Either party may apply for temporary alimony at any time during the divorce process, according to O.C.G.A. §19-6-3. It should be noted that temporary alimony payments can include litigation expenses, so these payments may help an individual continue the divorce process.

A judge generally has complete discretion over whether to grant temporary alimony. However, either party may petition the court to review any of its previous decisions. Those who need more information on temporary alimony or assistance in filing for such alimony should contact a spousal support lawyer in Cobb County.

Permanent Alimony

The term “permanent alimony” refers to support payments made by one individual to the other after the divorce is finalized. The amount of such payments depends on several factors, as per O.C.G.A. §19-6-5:

  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age and health of each individual
  • Financial resources of each individual
  • Contribution of each party to the marriage
  • Any other factor the court deems equitable

Permanent alimony payments generally end when the receiving spouse remarries. If an individual is receiving periodic alimony payments, a court may eliminate such payments if the receiving party no longer needs financial assistance.

Who Can Petition the Court to Terminate Spousal Maintenance?

Generally, either party may petition the court to change or eliminate the amount of alimony. To do so, they must show a change in income and financial status, according to O.C.G.A. §19-6-19.

For example, an individual who is paying alimony could claim that the receiving party’s income has increased sufficiently enough that they no longer require alimony payments. Similarly, an individual receiving alimony may petition the court for increased payments if their ex-spouse’s income has increased.

Speaking with a Cobb County Spousal Support Attorney

In many divorces, spousal support is necessary to help lower-earning spouses cover financial expenses as they find a new place to live or a new job after their divorce. Spousal support can therefore be a critical piece of any divorce case or settlement.

For help obtaining or modifying a spousal support order, call a Cobb County spousal support lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated attorney could review your case, come up with a plan to help you obtain the spousal support you need, and represent you in court to give you the best shot at receiving the support you deserve.

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