When a marriage ends, sometimes a lower-earning party may be entitled to receiving ongoing payments from their higher-earning former spouse. Spousal support arrangements could be made before marriage, during a marriage, or after marriage via a written agreement or a judge’s order. Every situation is unique, so these decisions generally need to be examined carefully. You should never accept or make alimony payments without first speaking to an experienced Sandy Springs spousal support lawyer.
Spousal support agreements can have a lasting impact on you and your family for years to come, it is typically important to cautiously evaluate the terms of the contract to help ensure an optimal outcome. Our dedicated family attorneys could examine the facts of your case and assess potential legal strategies that may be effective in court.
In Georgia, spousal support is typically referred to as alimony. Either spouse may be granted alimony based on the income or assets of the other spouse, and alimony may be paid periodically over a set or indefinite amount of time, or all at once in a lump sum. Payments often end when the recipient remarries or passes away or based on the terms of a final divorce decree.
Unlike child support, there generally are no specific legal guidelines in Georgia to determine how much alimony one spouse may be required to pay to another. Generally, the court looks at the finances of both spouses to first determine if alimony is appropriate. If it is, the judge may determine—based on the same financial records—how much one spouse could be required to pay to the other.
When making their final determination, the court may take into consideration various factors, all of which a seasoned Sandy Springs spousal support attorney could explain during a consultation. Some of these include the lifestyle of the couple during the marriage, the earning capacity of both spouses, economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage, and the current financial status of each spouse.
The duration of alimony frequently depends on the circumstances of the receiving spouse. As mentioned above, alimony generally ends automatically when a receiving spouse remarries or passes away. However, the court typically must also investigate other factors when making the decision to end spousal support.
For instance, if a lower-earning spouse who did not work during the marriage is determined capable of re-entering the workforce after divorce, the court may allow alimony for as long as it takes for the spouse to find employment or receive the training they need to become employed. Conversely, if the lower-earning spouse is ill, or if there is some other pertinent factor that would prevent them from supporting themselves, the court may grant alimony permanently.
It is important for spouses to note that alimony may be modified based on a change of circumstances. A court may make such a modification if it feels the change in circumstances warrants an increase or decrease in spousal support payments. In addition to other services, a spousal support lawyer in Sandy Springs could help a potential client identify whether a modification in their alimony situation is warranted.
After a divorce, it is often important to secure your financial future. Whether you are the paying or receiving spouse, you do not want to be left in a situation where you can no longer support yourself simply because your marriage has ended.
A Sandy Springs spousal support lawyer could listen to your concerns and goals and work with you to pursue a positive resolution to your divorce proceedings. If you are concerned about receiving too little or paying too much alimony, get in touch with our intake team and work to ensure your voice is heard.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group