Payments for spousal support or alimony are fairly common, yet many people misunderstand how such payments work. For example, some incorrectly believe that only an ex-wife may be able to receive spousal support payments. In reality, almost anyone may be able to obtain spousal support if their financial situation warrants them.
If you would like to seek spousal support or determine your eligibility for it, a Roswell spousal support lawyer could review your case and help you decide if you should petition for support. If so, a member of our legal team could file a petition on your behalf and make sure you receive the payments you deserve. Our skilled family attorneys are familiar with different kinds of spousal support cases, and we could be committed to helping you to the fullest extent possible.
Spousal support is often referred to as “alimony.” Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-6-1 defines alimony as an allowance or payment by one party for the support of another party while they are living apart.
Georgia family courts generally permit parties in Roswell—or a spousal support attorney representing them—to seek such payments in any of the following situations:
In any of the above cases, either spouse may petition for alimony as either part of a divorce action or as a separate legal proceeding.
Courts usually authorize alimony payments according to the needs of the party receiving alimony and the ability of the other party to pay. A court may also take into account any of the following factors, according to O.C.G.A. §19-6-5:
Additionally, courts may take into account any other relevant, equitable factor that it deems proper, or which a spousal support lawyer in Roswell raises on one spouse’s behalf. For example, a court may factor in the conduct of both parties to each other in determining the amount of alimony.
A court may also award attorney’s fees in divorce or alimony actions, according to O.C.G.A. §19-6-2. The court has complete discretion in deciding whether to award attorney’s fees but must consider the financial circumstances of each party.
Additionally, a court has the power to order the payment of attorney’s fees more than once. For example, a judge may order one party to pay the other party’s legal fees during multiple hearings.
In certain cases, state law forbids courts from awarding alimony. Under O.C.G.A. §19-6-1, an individual is not entitled to alimony if the marriage ended due to that party’s adultery or desertion. Proof of an individual’s adultery or desertion must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
In some instances, individuals may contract with each other to pay—or not to pay—spousal support. Such an agreement bars the right of any signatory to request court-ordered alimony.
According to O.C.G.A. §19-6-8, in cases of voluntary separation or abandonment, both individuals may contract with each other to provide adequate support payments. These payments take the place of alimony, and neither person may request additional alimony. For more information about spousal support, seek the services of a knowledgeable lawyer.
After a divorce, spousal support payments may be justified for any individual who earns less than their former spouse. These payments may be essential to helping that individual relocate, find new housing, and adjust to their new life outside of their previous marriage.
If you need spousal support or would like to explore whether it may be available to you, get in touch with our team as soon as possible. In addition to discussing your financial situation and helping you petition for spousal support payments, a Roswell spousal support lawyer could also represent you in any necessary court hearings so you receive your payments as soon as possible. Call today to schedule an initial consultation and start exploring your options.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group