Alimony Lawyer in Cumming, GA
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Alimony law is intended to ensure the economic well-being of both spouses during and after a divorce. If the court determines it is necessary, one spouse will be ordered to pay alimony to support the other. Alimony is a major part of many divorce negotiations, so it is important to be aware of Georgia alimony law if you are going through divorce proceedings. With the help of our Cumming alimony attorney, you can work toward a divorce settlement that is right for you.
Who Receives Alimony?
When determining whether or not alimony payments are necessary, the court is looking for the spouse seeking alimony to prove not only that they are in genuine financial need of their partner’s continued support, but also that the partner has the means to provide that support. The amount of alimony awarded is based on a number of factors, such as the age and wellness of both partners, the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial resources and earning capacity, and the standard of living that existed during the marriage. The court will also consider what each party contributed to the marriage, including non-monetary services like homemaking, child-rearing, etc.
Types of Alimony
Alimony is often referred to as a singular concept, but there are actually multiple types that the court may decide to grant. Temporary alimony (or “Pedente Lite” alimony) is intended to provide financial support to a spouse during a specific period of time; it is awarded by a judge to support a spouse during the course of divorce proceedings. Receiving temporary alimony is not a guarantee that permanent alimony will be awarded once the divorce is final. Permanent alimony arrangements usually involve one spouse sending periodic payments on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, though sometimes a spouse may be required by the court to make payments as a lump-sum. A less common form of alimony is “indirect alimony,” where a spouse is instead required to cover expenses, such as a car payment or mortgage payment.
In order to effectively negotiate alimony, whichever side you may find yourself on, it is critical to have a strong understanding of the financial resources and situation of yourself and your spouse. These negotiations are often challenging and stressful, so it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. They will understand how to best analyze the marriage from a financial perspective, and what to ask for in court.
Whether you are seeking alimony payments or need to understand your ability to pay alimony, take stock of all your finances. If your spouse has any separate assets, you are entitled to know their value. Monthly income and expenses should obviously be considered, but do not forget about additional factors like overtime, bonuses, health insurance, stock options, or company vehicles. Although these may not be direct sources of income for you or your spouse, they factor into the overall financial situation. When you are reviewing the required income and expense disclosure, make sure to pay attention to any major discrepancies between how you and your spouse spend money. This information is something your attorney will want to discuss during alimony negotiations.
The way that alimony payments are structured affects how the IRS taxes them, so you may want to consult with a tax professional to create the best tax scenario possible.
Modifications to Alimony
Alimony will automatically terminate when a spouse either dies or remarries, but modifications might occur under less extreme circumstances as well. If there has been a major change in the financial circumstances of either spouse, they can file a motion in the superior court clerk’s office to have alimony modified or terminated. If the spouses can come to an agreement about changes to the alimony agreement, that will be sufficient; otherwise, there will be a hearing so the spouse who filed a motion can present their evidence to the judge. Alimony agreements may be modified or terminated if the receiving spouse has gotten a new job that puts them in a more secure financial position, for instance, or if the paying spouse has lost their job. If the receiving spouse does remarry, it is not necessary to file a motion regarding alimony. The paying spouse can simply stop making payments once the marriage occurs.
When you are facing divorce proceedings, it is important to be prepared for alimony negotiations no matter what your financial situation is. As dual income households are more common, it can be more complicated to determine what is appropriate for spousal support. A Cumming alimony lawyer well-versed in the state’s alimony law will be able to help you take stock of the financial situation you and your spouse are in and prepare for negotiations to ensure that your financial well-being is protected.
Reach out to a member of our team at (678) 257-4507 to schedule your free consultation. We are eager to help our clients address their divorce concerns and move forward.
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