Alimony Lawyers in Atlanta Offering Legal Help in a Family Law Matter
No one ever said that getting a divorce would be easy. It can be downright brutal – especially when it comes to the financial aspects of splitting up a household. If you’re facing a divorce and wondering how you’re going to make ends meet, you may want to consider talking to an alimony lawyer.
After a divorce is complete, the courts will set specific orders regarding many situations to ensure both spouses maintain the quality of life they had during the marriage. One thing that must be considered is alimony, which is also often referred to as spousal support.
For any couple who is going through a divorce, it is crucial to recognize what alimony is, how it is determined, and what factors go into deciding when it can be modified. Having this knowledge can help you work on a favorable agreement that fits both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse moving forward.
Our team at Atlanta Family Law Group LLC is here to guide you through every step of the process and make sure you come out on top. Give us a call today at 404-738-5805 for more information about how we can help with your specific case.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is the amount of monetary support one party must pay to the other party after the divorce is final. The idea behind alimony is that it allows for a continuation of the quality of life the two enjoyed during the marriage. In most situations, alimony is paid by the higher income earner to the person with less or no income.
For instance, if one party is a business professional and the other partner stayed at home and made a smaller income from an at-home business, the higher-paid business professional is more likely to pay alimony. The idea is that the lower-income person does not make enough to maintain a certain lifestyle. Alimony supplements the cost of that lifestyle.
Factors used to determine whether to award alimony include:
- The income of both parties
- The payments and debts of both parties
- The needs of each party to maintain a quality of life
- The recipient’s earning potential
- The payor’s earning potential
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
- The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable them to find appropriate employment
- The conduct of the parties
At a temporary hearing or during the final hearing of a divorce case, alimony may be requested. At any time before an action for divorce or permanent alimony is decided, one of the spouses can petition the presiding judge of the court in which it is pending for an order awarding him or her temporary alimony until a decision is reached.
With the court’s assistance, these temporary alimony payments might be determined based on all the circumstances of the parties and their marriage, including evidence presented by both sides and any relevant facts.
Alimony can be awarded on either a temporary or permanent basis. Temporary alimony is usually for a short period to allow for the receiving spouse to get on their feet to become self-supporting. Permanent alimony is for an indefinite time until changed by a court order. Permanent alimony is typically only awarded in long-term marriages where one spouse has been substantially dependent on the other for financial support.
It is important to note that a party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established that that party’s adultery leads to the separation between the parties. In all cases in which alimony is sought, the cause of the separation is relevant to the determination of whether alimony is appropriate.
How Long Will I Have to Pay Alimony?
The duration of your alimony payments will depend on several factors, including the type of alimony you were ordered to pay, the specific terms of your divorce agreement, and state law.
In Georgia, there are usually two types of alimony that can be ordered by the court: periodic and lump sum. Periodic alimony is paid regularly, typically monthly, and continues until either you or your ex dies, remarries, or cohabitates with someone. Lump-sum alimony is paid in one lump payment and does not continue after it is paid.
The amount and duration of your periodic alimony payments will be determined by several factors, including the length of your marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, each spouse’s financial needs, and resources, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, any contributions made by either spouse to the education or training of the other spouse, and any other factor the court deems relevant.
In general, the longer you were married, the longer you can expect to pay (or receive) alimony. For example, if you were married for 10 years or less, you would typically only be required to pay alimony for a maximum of 50% of the length of your marriage. So, if you were married for four years, you would only have to pay alimony for two years at most. However, if you were married for 20 years or more, you may be required to pay alimony for an indefinite period of time.
The specific terms of your divorce agreement may also affect the duration of your alimony payments. For instance, if you and your spouse agree that your alimony payments will end after a certain number of years or when your ex reaches a certain age, then the court will likely honor that agreement.
In conclusion, the amount and duration of your alimony payments will depend on many factors, including the type of alimony you were ordered to pay, the specific terms of your divorce agreement, and state law. You should discuss your specific situation with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that you understand all of your rights and obligations concerning alimony.
What Can I do to be Awarded Alimony Payments?
To be awarded alimony payments, you must first prove that you are entitled to receive them. This generally means showing that you were economically disadvantaged by the divorce and that your ex can pay alimony.
There are some factors that the court will consider when determining whether you are entitled to receive alimony, as stated above. If you believe that you are entitled to receive alimony payments from your ex, you should discuss your specific situation with an experienced family law attorney in Atlanta to ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps to receive them.
If you are seeking alimony payments from your ex-spouse in a Georgia divorce, experienced family law attorneys can help you by:
- Assessing your situation and determining whether you are eligible to receive alimony payments: To be eligible for alimony, you must usually show that you were economically disadvantaged by the divorce and that your former spouse has the financial means to pay.
- Drafting a compelling case to present to the court explaining why you deserve alimony payments: Alimony lawyers in Atlanta understand the process and can help you get the payments you deserve by presenting facts about your financial situation to the court.
- Negotiating with your ex-spouse and their attorney to reach an agreement on alimony payments: Alimony lawyers in Atlanta can help you negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement that will help you maintain your standard of living after a divorce.
- Representing you in court if a dispute over alimony arises: Alimony lawyers in Atlanta can represent you in court if necessary to protect your rights.
- Enforcing an alimony order: Alimony lawyers in Atlanta can help you enforce an alimony order if your ex-spouse fails to make payments by filing a contempt action.
Should I Hire an Alimony Attorney?
When going through a divorce, many people wonder if they need to hire an attorney who has experience in alimony law. The simple answer is no; you are not required to have an attorney. However, having an experienced lawyer by your side can make the process much smoother and help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
An alimony lawyer helps their client with any legal matters related to spousal support payments. This includes negotiating the amount of alimony to be paid, as well as working out a payment schedule that works for both parties. In some cases, the lawyer may also represent their client in court if the matter goes to trial.
If you are going through a divorce and believe that you will be ordered to pay alimony, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, as well as negotiate a fair alimony agreement.
It is important to remember that hiring an attorney is an investment in your future. While there may be some upfront costs, the long-term benefits of having an experienced lawyer by your side are often worth the investment.
If you are considering hiring an alimony lawyer, contact Atlanta Family Law Group LLC today to schedule a consultation at 404-738-5805. Our experienced divorce lawyers can help you understand your rights and options, as well as provide guidance and support throughout the divorce process.