Divorce is always stressful, but it can be especially challenging if you left the workforce years ago to raise a family or support your spouse’s career goals. How can you support yourself or your children while you pursue the education or training you need to become self-sufficient?
This is where alimony comes in.
While alimony is not as common in Georgia as it was in the past, it continues to be an important resource for helping people maintain their standard of living after a divorce. This is particularly true for a partner who may have sacrificed a career and earning potential to take care of the home while the higher-earning partner continued to work.
Both spouses contribute to a marriage. No one should have to take a dramatic step back because their marriage ended. If you are seeking alimony or feel that you shouldn’t have to pay alimony, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Cobb County spousal support attorney.
At Gentry Law Firm, LLC, we support our clients through critical legal matters like contested and uncontested divorce, child custody, child support, parenting plan creation, property division, and alimony. As one of the area’s most trusted family law offices, we understand the uncertainty you face and will work diligently to secure your future prosperity.
How Does Alimony Work in Georgia?
In general, alimony is based on two principles: the recipient’s need for financial support and the payor’s ability to pay it. You and your spouse can create your own support arrangement or the court can decide on a fair arrangement. In either case, the Final Order will indicate the monthly payment amounts, how long the support will last, and any other appropriate conditions.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one of the following spousal support plans:
- Traditional or Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is still relatively common after a divorce, particularly when one spouse has a significantly higher income than the other. These payments typically last a few months or years as the recipient spouse transitions into their new life.
- Lump-Sum Alimony: With this type of alimony, you receive a lump sum of cash instead of monthly support payments.
- Permanent Alimony: This form of alimony is increasingly rare but may still be awarded. Typically, permanent alimony is granted to spouses when they have been married for decades and stayed home to raise children rather than obtain an education or establish a career.
An alimony lawyer in Marietta can give you the right legal advice for your situation and help you pursue the support you need to ensure your ongoing financial stability.
How is Alimony Calculated in Georgia?
There is no set formula for calculating spousal support in Georgia. Instead, the courts consider a wide range of factors that include:
- The length of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s age and health;
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
- Each spouse’s current income and future earning potential;
- Each spouse’s education level and employability;
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage;
- Any existing marital debt and how that debt is divided; and
- The impact that alimony will have on each spouse’s taxes.
Spousal support issues can become especially complicated in high-asset divorces. As a divorce attorneys, we are advocates for the clients’ best interests and will work with forensic accountants, business valuators, and other independent professionals to get a complete overview of your spouse’s income and marital assets, so you can seek the support you are entitled to.
Can You Collect Alimony During a Georgia Divorce?
In Georgia, divorce is not an instant process. Even if it is uncontested, there is a mandatory waiting period of 30 days before the court issues the Final Order and Decree of Divorce. Depending on court availability, you could be looking at 45 to 60 days. With contested divorces, it takes even longer due to necessary litigation.
If you need financial support while your divorce is pending, the judge may order temporary alimony to cover your financial needs until the case is finalized. Our law office will help you request this support at the time the divorce commences.
Can Men Receive Alimony in Georgia?
Yes. Ever since the US Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in 1979, women have been held to the same standards as men when it comes to paying spousal support.
Although the concept of alimony was originally devised to protect divorced women financially, many wives today make more than their husbands. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, approximately 40% of all US households with minor children include mothers who are either the primary or sole source of family income. Of this group, 37% are married women who earn more than their husbands.
On the other hand, very few divorcing men (an estimated 3%) seek alimony. In some cases, they’re ashamed to ask for it, while in other instances, they fear that their application will be denied, or they simply don’t know that they have a right to financial support.
If you left the workforce to care for your spouse and children, you have the right to seek alimony to help you during the post-divorce transition period. One of our alimony lawyers in Marietta can help you make a compelling case for the support you need.
Speak to a Spousal Support Attorney in Marietta GA
Alimony can be a contentious issue in many divorces. Some spouses who are required to pay child support will resist another financial obligation. In other cases, the spouse requesting support demands more than they actually need, making these situations highly difficult family law cases. In either event, you want to work with family law attorneys who know how to overcome these challenges.
When your financial interests are on the line, contact a spousal support attorney at the Gentry Law Firm LLC for a free initial consultation in Marietta, Georgia. Our divorce attorneys in Cobb County have extensive experience advocating for clients in Georgia’s court system and will protect your rights and your future. Call our office in Marietta at 770-425-5573 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our legal services today.