Alpharetta and Woodstock Alimony Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance with Spousal Support Throughout Georgia
Alimony or spousal support is the legal obligation that a person may have to give financial support to his or her ex-spouse after a divorce. Traditionally, alimony has been paid by men to their former wives. However, this has changed since the 1970s, and now men also may qualify for alimony payments. The Alpharetta and Woodstock alimony lawyers at North Metro Litigators understands how complex spousal support matters can be. We are available to assist you every step of the way with your divorce.
What is Alimony?
It is important to understand exactly what alimony is. While there are different types of alimony, it is important to know about permanent and temporary alimony. The classic form of financial support from one former spouse to the other is permanent alimony, and this is usually paid following the divorce. These payments continue indefinitely. Temporary alimony payments are typically made from one spouse to the former spouse while the divorce case is pending and the parties are still legally married.
In Georgia, the alimony arrangement may definitely influence how other property is divided, which is one reason it can be a very important aspect of divorce. An individual may not qualify for alimony if he or she has committed adultery or deserted the other spouse. When both parties are not able to agree on an arrangement, there are many factors that are taken into consideration such as the duration of the marriage, the financial resources of each party, the medical condition and age of each party, and the value of each party’s separate property.
The courts will decide what type of alimony is applicable to your situation. They will also decide what the monthly payment amount needs to be.
What Other Factors are Considered When Calculating Alimony in Georgia?
In addition to the factors discussed above, there are several other factors the Georgia courts consider when determining what amount of alimony (if any) is appropriate given the circumstances of a particular divorce. These factors include:
- The standard of living the spouses enjoyed during their marriage;
- The amount of time the recipient spouse would need to secure gainful employment;
- The spouses’ respective financial contributions during their marriage;
- The spouses’ respective non-financial contributions during the marriage (i.e. homemaking and childcare services); and,
- “Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.”
How is Alimony Treated for Income Tax Purposes?
The federal income tax rules for alimony payments changed with the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Under the new law, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible at the Federal Level, and the spouse who receives alimony is no longer required to report alimony payments as taxable income.
This is a significant change that removes a significant financial incentive for high-earning spouses to negotiate alimony during the divorce process. However, if you need to seek alimony, an experienced divorce lawyer will still be able to help you secure a favorable result—whether through out-of-court settlement negotiations or at trial. If you suffered a job loss we can help you modify your alimony.
How Often Do Alimony Lawyers Take a Case to Trial?
Alimony cases go to trial more often than you might think. At North Metro Litigators, our alimony lawyers typically handle one or two trials per year—and that is a lot when you consider the amount of time and effort involved in preparing a case for trial. We are committed to fighting for our clients; if going to trial is your best option to protect your finances long-term, we will not hesitate to fight on your behalf in court.
Deciding whether to go to trial requires a careful assessment of the facts of your case. While we take our clients’ cases to trial when necessary, we also seek to settle our clients’ cases favorably whenever possible. In many cases, letting your spouse (and his or her divorce attorney) know that you are prepared to litigate will be enough to convince him or her to agree to a favorable settlement.
Is It Possible to Modify Alimony Post-Divorce in Georgia?
It is possible to modify alimony in Georgia, but only under certain circumstances. The two main justifications for seeking an alimony modification are:
- A change in the income or financial status of either former spouse; or,
- The recipient has moved in with a new partner (or, in statutory terms, is “voluntarily cohabitat[ing]” with a new partner).
However, even in these scenarios, modification is not automatic. You must file a petition with the court, and you must convince the judge that modification is warranted based on the specific facts at hand. Critically, if you are seeking to reduce or terminate your alimony payment obligation, you must obtain a court order before you stop your normal payments. If you stop paying the full amount you currently owe too soon, you could be held in contempt of court.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Alpharetta and Woodstock Alimony Lawyer Today
There are a number of factors that are considered to determine the alimony situation if it applies at all. Having a divorce attorney who can fight for your interests is essential. Luckily, the Alpharetta and Woodstock divorce and family law attorneys at North Metro Litigators have the skills, knowledge, and expertise that is needed to get you the best alimony situation for your needs.
It can often be complicated to understand alimony and spousal support. Having a divorce attorney who can help you through the process and protect your interests is essential. To speak with our qualified alimony attorneys, call our Alpharetta or Woodstock office now at 770-517-0045 or contact us online today.