Barrow County Spousal Support Attorneys
Comprehensive Alimony Guidance in Jackson, Walton, Gwinnett, Oconee, Clarke, Hall, and Banks Counties
In many divorces, one spouse will leave the marriage with a higher earning capacity than the other. This can happen when one spouse sacrifices their career to raise the couple’s children full-time, for example. Alimony – or spousal support – is meant to compensate the lower-earning spouse for this disparity and enable them to maintain the standard of living the couple enjoyed while they were together. These payments can be used however the benefitting spouse pleases.
Ending a marriage is never easy, but uncertainty over alimony can make the process even harder. Our Barrow County spousal support lawyers understand what is at stake and know how Georgia judges determine alimony awards. Our team at the Mitchell & Crunk Law Firm is ready to serve as your fierce advocate and will fight to obtain the fair outcome you deserve.
Two types of alimony can be awarded in a Georgia divorce. Temporary alimony aims to support a spouse while the divorce is finalized, while permanent alimony continues after the divorce proceedings are over. In some cases, a judge might initially order temporary alimony before awarding a separate permanent alimony arrangement that will continue after the divorce.
The “permanent” in “permanent alimony” can be somewhat misleading. In most cases, this type of alimony is not truly permanent. A spouse may only need to make payments until their former partner can acquire the training or education that they need to find a job and achieve financial independence. Permanent alimony arrangements are generally only indefinite if the benefitting spouse is disabled or elderly and therefore unable to work.
Spousal support is not the same thing as child support. A spouse may be required to pay both alimony and child support for set periods of time following a divorce.
How Courts Determine Alimony Awards in Georgia
Either spouse can request spousal support as part of the divorce process. However, alimony is need-based and not automatically granted. A judge will need to determine whether the requesting spouse needs support and whether the other spouse has the means to pay.
When considering whether to grant alimony, a Georgia judge will consider:
- The age and health of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- The financial circumstances of each spouse, including each spouse’s earning capacity, debts, and separate property
- How long each spouse will need to complete the training or education necessary to obtain sufficient employment
- The contributions each spouse made to the marriage
- Marital misconduct, including infidelity violence, and other types of “fault”
Because there is no formula for calculating alimony in Georgia, the details of any spousal support arrangement will often be up to the discretion of the judge. Our Barrow County spousal support attorneys are familiar with how to strategically position clients in these matters and can leverage our knowledge and resources to benefit your case.
Modifying or Terminating an Existing Spousal Support Order in Georgia
Once alimony has been awarded, the ordered payments must be made, even if the spouse disagrees with the decision. Temporary alimony orders will automatically cease when the divorce is finalized, but permanent alimony orders may require spouses to make payments for many months or years. An end date will be included with the permanent alimony order.
A permanent alimony order will automatically terminate if the benefitting spouse remarries. The original expiration does not matter, and no further court action is required.
You may be able to modify an existing spousal support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. In these cases, you will need to submit your request to the applicable court and include evidence that demonstrates why a change is warranted. You cannot request a change because you believe the current alimony award is unfair.
A Georgia judge might consider modifying a spousal support order if:
- The contributing spouse lost a job and no longer has the resources to make the current payments
- The benefitting spouse lost a job and needs additional resources from the contributing spouse, who can afford to pay
- The benefitting spouse has become seriously injured or ill and needs additional resources from the contributing spouse, who can afford to pay
- The benefitting spouse is cohabitating in a marriage-like relationship and is avoiding getting formally married to preserve the current alimony arrangement
Other substantial changes in circumstances may also justify adjustments. Our Barrow County spousal support lawyers can evaluate your case and, if we believe a change is possible, guide you through the process of requesting a modification.
If you have found our website, chances are you and your family are going through a difficult moment. Our team welcomes the opportunity to assist you and is determined to make a positive difference in your life. When you come to us for help, our Barrow property division lawyers will listen to your concerns, identify the legal issues involved in your case, explain the law to you, and provide the effective legal counsel you need to succeed. Our track record speaks for itself, and we encourage you to review our testimonials to learn more about what our clients think of our family law services.
“Couldn't have been happier!”
“Mitchell and Crunk was very diligent throughout my whole process. And I couldn't have asked for a better outcome in my case.”
“He genuinely cared about my case first and myself as a client. He was so thorough with the case and actually listened to me and cared. He is also very descriptive and helps you really understand your case with such an honest tone.”
“I met Matthew Crunk and he was just amazing. He listened to me, was very understanding of my situation and very thorough on explaining everything to me.”
“The environment was welcoming and the staff was very polite. Misty was more than happy to help me and provide me with answers to all of my questions during our consultation.”