What is traditionally called alimony is also known as spousal support in Georgia. Alimony is considered a punishment by many, but this is not true. The main purpose of spousal support is to allow the lower earning member of the marriage the ability maintain some standard of living. Alimony in Georgia is not a guaranteed part of your divorce and is governed by a number of factors. Spousal support is normally awarded after a long-term marriage ends but can be awarded in any marriage regardless of length.
Eligibility Factors for Spousal Support
- Eligibility factors for alimony are dependent on many factors including:
- Previous living standards as a couple
- Length of marriage
- Receiving spouse’s age, earning potential, physical condition
- Contributions to the marriage of value but not income producing.
- Calculating spousal support amounts
Alimony Awards Are Subjective, So Professional Representation Is Key
There are no set formulas for calculating alimony in Georgia. The support payments are calculated and awarded by the court. So experienced and professional legal advocacy is very important. The financial support calculation process could be considered to be subjective and arbitrary. The basis for alimony is generally based on “the needs of one spouse” and “the ability to pay by the other spouse”.
You need a diligent and strategic lawyer for your case and one who can present evidence on your behalf in initial negotiations or during court proceedings.
You Have Rights and Remedies for Past-Due Alimony
After a court orders your spouse to pay alimony there is no guarantee that the spouse will actually obey the orders. To make sure that you receive the spousal support you are entitled to, hiring a good lawyer is important. The lawyers at Teston & Burruss are fully dedicated to your case from start to finish. They will build a strong case for you and provide remedies in between that will ensure you are not denied your rights to alimony.
How Can I Obtain Past-Due Spousal Support?
If your spouse fails to pay you the spousal support that he or she owes you, then action can be taken against them in the family court. A contempt action can be filed which will empower the court to enforce the payment order. Your spouse can be put in jail if he or she does not comply with those orders. Additionally, court’s will often order the other party to pay your legal fees for having to seek the court’s help.
If the spouse proves that he is not financially able to pay the money, then the payment can be collected at a later date when his or her conditions have financially improved. To attain this, you need a judgement against your spouse through a good lawyer.
When Can Alimony be Changed?
A lot of misconceptions revolve around whether alimony can be changed after divorce. The answer depends on the type of alimony you are paying or receiving and the language in your alimony order. If it is legal and modifications to the alimony can be made, our attorney will help you do so. Circumstances under which it may be modified are:
- If the income of the payer increases or decreases dramatically, alimony can be increased or decreased accordingly.
- If the financial needs of the recipient increase, then alimony can be increased.
- If the financial needs of the recipient decrease, then alimony can be reduced.
- if the party receiving alimony remarried, then alimony can be terminated.
When Can Alimony Payments End?
The time period for which the alimony has to be paid is usually mentioned in the court order or settlement agreement. Alimony can end if the spouse remarries or has a meretricious relationship in which the spouse cohabitates in the nature of a marriage but without the legal status. If you need assistance with any matters related to alimony don’t hesitate to call us and get a free consultation.