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Atlanta Divorce Lawyer > Marietta Alimony Lawyer

Alimony has changed considerably over the years. Also called “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance,” alimony is a sum of money one spouse pays to the other. Alimony serves many purposes, but one key purpose is to mitigate the financial unfairness of divorce.

At Buckhead Family Law, we have represented men and women seeking alimony or trying to avoid paying it. Alimony is not awarded in every divorce, and spouses don’t have a “right” to it the same way a child is entitled to child support. Contact our Marietta alimony lawyers to learn more.

There are two types of alimony in Georgia:

  • This is short-term alimony that is awarded to help an ex-spouse get back on his or her feet. It can help a spouse receive an education or work experience in order to become self-supporting.
  • This type of alimony is awarded less frequently. Generally, a spouse will get permanent alimony if he or she cannot work due to age, disability, mental illness, etc.

Don’t forget that a judge can award alimony for the duration of the divorce. Once the court issues the divorce decree, temporary alimony stops. The decree will then contain an award for rehabilitative or permanent alimony—or no alimony award at all.

As part of a marital settlement agreement, spouses can agree to alimony, including the amount and duration. Spouses can also waive any right to alimony if they choose. Alimony is sometimes a bargaining chip used in divorce negotiations. For example, one spouse might agree to waive alimony if she can get a larger share of marital property.

There is no automatic right to alimony. Instead, Georgia Code § 19-6-1 requires that judges consider a spouse’s need and the other’s ability to pay. Judges typically look at many factors:

  • Your standard of living while married
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Each spouse’s earning potential
  • Each spouse’s assets
  • Each spouse’s age and physical health
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
  • How much time it will take for a spouse to return to work
  • Any other relevant factor

As you can see, this is a context-specific analysis. No two clients occupy the same situation, and your attorney should know how to make a compelling argument based on your unique circumstances.

In some states, judges do not consider marital fault when deciding alimony. That’s not the law in Georgia. Instead, a husband or wife can lose out on alimony if a preponderance of the evidence shows the couple separated due to that spouse’s adultery or desertion.

A preponderance of the evidence means that it is “more likely than not” that infidelity or desertion caused the separation. Sometimes, to avoid airing dirty laundry, a spouse will voluntarily agree to give up any request for alimony or will accept a very low amount.

Buckhead Family Law has sought alimony on behalf of many clients and consider it as part of any divorce. To learn more, give us a call today. We can review more in-depth your rights to alimony in a meeting.

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