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Experienced Gwinnett County Alimony Attorney

No other divorce-related issue elicits stronger emotions than alimony. One spouse believes they are legally qualified to receive huge alimony payments. The other believes none should be given. The truth usually lies in between.

Understanding alimony/spousal support in Georgia

gwinnett-county-alimony-attorneyLawyers use the term alimony interchangeably with spousal support and maintenance although they all describe the same legal concept. Alimony is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to another when that couple separates or divorces. It is the right of one spouse to receive an amount of money from the other spouse on a permanent or short-term basis after a court decides that it is justified in their particular situation. Its purpose is to prevent any unfair financial consequences of a divorce, even after property division and child support issues have been settled.

Alimony may be available for a limited duration or until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. It can also be paid in a single lump sum. A spouse who caused the divorce by adultery or desertion is not entitled to alimony.

Before you agree to accept or pay alimony when filing for the dissolution of marriage, contact a skilled family law attorney to know more about alimony rights.

Contact Attorney Sharon Jackson today at (678) 890-4200 regarding your alimony issue.

Types of alimony in Georgia

There are four types of alimony in Georgia:

Rehabilitative or short-term alimony

Rehabilitative or short-term alimony is usually awarded If one spouse needs to improve their financial condition. A spouse desiring to be self-supporting after divorce will want to:

  • provide for their needs without assistance by educating themselves
  • develop the necessary skills for self-sufficiency
  • pursue a higher education
  • look for a job

The courts know these things take time to develop. That’s why this spousal support is also known as “rehabilitative” or “short-term”. One spouse may be required to make alimony payments for a short period of time until the other spouse becomes financially independent after the divorce.

Permanent or long-term alimony

This involves one spouse paying the dependent spouse a fixed amount of money on a permanent or long-term basis. Court-ordered “lifetime” alimony is uncommon these days with women more and more in the workforce. This alimony usually ends when the dependent spouse remarries. This alimony is usually only considered when marriages of a long duration come to an end.

Transitional alimony

This is the most common type of alimony and is given to help the dependent spouse pass from a married state back to single life. It is usually given in a lump sum form but may be stretched out for a short duration. The money is meant to pay for the cost of moving, first month’s payment for an apartment, food, and other related expenses.

Lump sum alimony

This is not actually alimony in the strict sense but merely a part of the normal property division in a divorce. A spouse will typically receive payment in a lump sum as part of the marriage dissolution process. This is frequently presumed as alimony although it legally is not. This type of alimony is not modifiable in most states.

To determine whether alimony is appropriate, the court looks at how spouses treated each other during their marriage. The court requires the divorcing couple to provide evidence of the true cause of their separation.

How alimony is determined in Georgia

A Georgia judge uses their discretion to set the amount of alimony and the duration of support. The experience and skill of your Atlanta alimony attorney plays an important part in achieving a fair result. The monetary value of alimony is particularly significant in divorces involving parties with high net worth or valuable assets.

A judge, however, will not award alimony automatically in every divorce case in Georgia. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial equity in a divorce. It is awarded in proportion to the needs of the dependent spouse, and the circumstances of the paying spouse. This is why a decision is based on both need and the ability to pay.

The judge considers many factors in determining an alimony award. These include:

  • the earning capability of each spouse
  • the length of the marriage
  • the property and financial resources of each spouse
  • debts and other financial liabilities of each spouse
  • the couple’s standard of living to which they have become accustomed to during their marriage
  • the non-economic contributions of each party to the marriage such as child care, home management, and career advancement of the other spouse
  • the age of both spouses
  • the physical and emotional state of both spouses
  • fault of a spouse such as infidelity or desertion which can disqualify them for alimony
  • other factors that the court may find relevant and proper

Alimony is decided on a case by case basis since legal guidelines vary in every state. You should discuss this and other issues with a local attorney.

How long can you get alimony in Georgia

The court may look into other factors to determine how long alimony payments will continue. These additional factors may include:

  • amount of time that the dependent spouse needs to become self-sufficient through education or training
  • duration of the couple’s marriage
  • allocation of retirement

Contact Attorney Sharon Jackson

If you have alimony issues, then you should schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible. Rather than seeking solutions online or through well-meaning relatives and friends, get in touch with our legal team at Attorney Sharon Jackson’s law firm.

We can represent you during the divorce proceedings when alimony is set up, or at a later time if you need to make some changes to the alimony order. Whatever your legal needs are, we have the skills and the experience to help you defend your rights.

Our office is located in Lawrenceville, GA and our practice area covers all of Metro Atlanta. Our service also covers the following counties: Gwinnett, Barrow, Walton, and Hall.

Call Attorney Sharon Jackson at (678) 909-4100 to discuss your legal options and the best actions you can take. Or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Gwinnett county alimony attorney.


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