Alimony also known as spousal support is an allocation of monetary funds for the support of one spouse following the finalization of a divorce. Alimony isn’t automatically awarded in all divorce cases and is dependent upon factors such as, employment, prospective employment options, income, ages of minor children, and the length of the marriage. Alimony does not include any additional means of monetary support that are not agreed to by the parties or is not ordered through the court system. In optimal situations the parties may agree on a particular amount of spousal support that one party will pay to the other party—this may also include limitations like circumstances in which the spousal support will end, amount payable, and the date for which each payment is due. In contested situations in which the parties cannot agree the alimony case will go to trial and a Judge will determine all of the payment amounts, duration, and limitations.
In Georgia alimony is not limited to a particular gender and can be awarded to either husband or wife in a particular divorce case. Alimony is awarded by the court on the basis of the financial needs of either spouse, the amount of gross income earned by the supporting spouse, the expenses of a spouse in need of support, and the projected earning capacity of a spouse at the time of divorce. Alimony is also typically only a consideration in marriages that have lasted a “significant” amount of time and is not typically applicable in short term marriage arrangements.
Considerations for the amount of alimony payments and payment types are depended upon the same factors that determine whether or not alimony should be awarded. These factors are easily determined by the completion of a domestic relations financial affidavit when the issue of alimony is contested by the parties. Overall, the amount of alimony should aid in providing for a similar “standard of living” that each spouse maintained during the marriage. Additional factors that could also alter the amount of alimony payments is the physical and emotional stability of the spouse in need of support and the cost of additional care that may be required due to monitor or present support with their health related condition. The variables that attribute to the amount of alimony are varied and are unique to each situation and their types of payments are equally unique. In some situations a lump sum may be awarded, an individual may pay a lump sum for a year to six months in advance, or the amount will be paid on a routine monthly basis.
In Georgia alimony can be awarded on both a permanent and temporary basis. Temporary spousal support is usually awarded during the course of divorce litigation in circumstances that demonstrate that a spouse is in need of support and is substantially financially dependent upon the other spouse. Permanent spousal support on the other hand is generally awarded following the finalization of the divorce order. But is important to note, that “permanent alimony” does not mean for the life of either of the parties; rather it a reference to an award of alimony made a part of the final decree. An award of “permanent alimony” may be in the form of one lump sum payment or just a couple of years of monthly payments.
In general long term alimony situations, which are becoming more rate, the alimony will be awarded until the spouse in need of support either passes away or remarries, whichever comes first. In the event that the circumstances surrounding the award of alimony have changed the payments can be significantly increased, decreased, or eliminated. Once spousal support is established, in a final order, only a modification to the original order for alimony can change the amount or necessity of the payments. Modifications of alimony may only be examined and considered in situations that demonstrate a significant change of circumstance with either party that may decrease or increase the amount payable to the spouse in need of support. For example, a modification for a decrease of alimony can be awarded if the spouse paying support becomes injured and is unable to work due to his or her injury and therefore cannot provide the same amount of support.
In the event that Alimony is not paid or when the spouse responsible for payment fails to provide the amount agreed upon or court ordered a spouse may file for a contempt charge to reinstate the payments owed. In order to file a contempt charge for alimony in Georgia a spouse must prove that the other spouse is acting in willful contempt and has failed to make a spousal support payment for a period of time longer than 31 days. An individual found in contempt for alimony may be forced to repay all past due payments when taken to court, may have the payment amount of alimony withheld from earnings each month, may have additional fines for the contempt charge, and or may be sentenced to jail time.
Georgia Areas We Serve
Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainesville, Midtown Atlanta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Buford, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Decatur, Grant Park, East Atlanta and the Virginia Highlands.
Our Georgia lawyers and attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette and Clayton.
Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Immigration, Bankruptcy, Estates, Wills, Trusts and Business Law. We have two convenient offices located at:
Alpharetta Georgia Office
5755 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Atlanta Georgia Office
659 Auburn Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30312
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