Divorce can impact former spouses in many ways, one of which is the potential for financial difficulties. The purpose of spousal support is to prevent such hardships by ensuring that recent divorcees can still maintain a similar standard of living to the one they enjoyed during their marriage.

That said, the establishment of spousal maintenance is subject to certain family law principles, many of which only an experienced attorney is equipped to fully understand and take advantage of. If you have concerns over the prospect of receiving alimony payments, it might be worthwhile to speak with a Marietta spousal support lawyer from our team about your situation.

How Does State Law Define Spousal Maintenance?

Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-1 categorizes spousal support — which is also referred to as alimony and maintenance — as a financial award one ex-spouse may owe to the other based on the latter’s need and the former’s ability to pay. Essentially, alimony’s purpose is to prevent one spouse from enduring any undue monetary struggles following a divorce.

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed to be a factor in every Marietta marriage, nor do the associated payments last indefinitely in most cases. Alimony can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. If the divorcing couple does not come to a private agreement on the duration of support, a court can make a final determination based on various personal and financial factors related to the parting spouses.

Determining Factors for Alimony in Marietta

In accordance with O.C.G.A. §19-6-5, a court must consider numerous issues when determining whether one spouse must pay alimony to the other, the duration of those payments, the specific dollar amount, and payment cycles. These factors correlate to each spouse’s financial, professional, and personal circumstances and include matters such as:

  • The duration of the marriage in question;
  • The age of both spouses;
  • The physical, mental, and emotional health of both spouses;
  • Both spouses’ financial capabilities;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The income-earning capabilities of both spouses; and
  • The contributions a non-working spouse made to the relationship (i.e. child-rearing duties) or the foregoing of educational or professional opportunities to enable the other spouse to pursue a career.

Though these provisions may significantly impact an adjudicating body’s ultimate decision, other circumstances may also be worthy of consideration. Anyone seeking or being asked to pay alimony should bring these issues to the attention of a local lawyer, who can help determine if additional factors might influence a judge’s decision.

Modifying Spousal Support

If ever necessary, both the payor and recipient of spousal support may appeal to the adjudicating body that rendered the initial alimony ruling to modify that decision, assuming that the right to do so was not waived in the initial order setting the award. That said, the court in question would grant such a request only if the requesting party can display evidential proof that an amendment is justified. A major financial change for either spouse such as job loss or promotion, inheritance, or illness are the most common reasons spousal support alterations are sought after and granted in Marietta.

Speaking with a Marietta Spousal Support Attorney

Financial issues are among the most important matters separating spouses need to resolve, and spousal support may reign supreme over such issues. Numerous factors might impact a court’s decision on whether one spouse will be required to provide financial support to the other, as well as the specific monetary amount the payor must provide and other associated issues.

This process can be tedious and confusing under even the most straightforward and mutually agreeable of circumstances. If you are facing the prospect of alimony, you may greatly benefit from the services of a Marietta spousal support lawyer. Call our firm today to get started.

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