Divorce can have numerous impacts upon former spouses, 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 they enjoyed during their marriage.

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

Spousal Support Defined

Official Code of Georgia §19-6-1 categorizes spousal support—which is also legally referred to as alimony—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 support is not guaranteed to be a factor in every marriage, nor do the associated payments often last indefinitely. Alimony can be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis, and 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.

The Determining Factors

In accordance with O.C.G.A. §19-6-5, a court must consider numerous issues prior to determining whether one spouse must pay alimony to the other, the duration those payments must go on for, and the specific dollar amounts and payment cycles to be established. 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 each party;
  • The physical, mental and emotional health of the respective former spouses;
  • Each spouse’s financial capabilities;
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed while married;
  • The income-earning capabilities of each spouse;
  • The contributions a non-working spouse made to the relationship, including 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 factor into an adjudicating body’s ultimate decision, other circumstances may also be worthy of consideration. Anyone seeking or being asked to pay spousal support should bring all these issues to the attention of their Marietta spousal support lawyer, who could help determine if additional factors might influence a court’s decision.

Spousal Support Modifications

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 is the most common reason spousal support modifications are sought after and granted in Marietta.

Speaking with a Marietta Spousal Support Attorney

Financial issues are amongst the most important matters separating spouses need to resolve, and spousal support may reign supreme over such issues. Numerous factors might affect a court’s decision of 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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