Our Douglasville spousal support lawyers are dedicated to helping families efficiently navigate family law issues. We have over 40 years of collective experience to put behind your case, and we understand that a lot is at stake.
Contact our law office at (470) 348-1726 to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced alimony attorney in Douglasville, Georgia. We’ll discuss your situation and review your options for moving forward from this difficult chapter of your life.
How Can Bardley McKnight Law Help With My Spousal Support Matter in Douglasville, GA?
Alimony can be a complicated issue, whether you’re separated, divorced, or want to modify an existing order. However, the complexities will be much easier to handle if you have the assistance of an experienced Douglasville family law attorney.
That’s where Bardley McKnight Law comes in. Our compassionate legal team has decades of experience helping people protect their assets and future. We know that spousal support can be a contentious legal matter. We’re skilled negotiators and can help you and your ex reach a fair resolution.
If you hire our Douglasville alimony lawyers, we’ll:
- Listen to you to understand your objectives and work hard to get the outcome you want and deserve
- Explain Georgia’s alimony laws and how they apply to your situation
- Keep you informed at all stages of the legal process, maintaining open lines of communication
- Gather information and evidence proving your case
- Negotiate with the other party or their attorney to reach an agreement that fairly addresses spousal support and other issues, such as child custody and property division
- Represent you in all Douglas County Superior Court hearings, as necessary
Call or contact our law firm online to learn more about our legal services. You can confidentially discuss your case with an experienced spousal support attorney in Douglasville, GA.
What Is Alimony in Georgia?
The terms “alimony and spousal support” are often used interchangeably, and they refer to the same thing.
Under Georgia law, alimony is temporary or permanent payments from one spouse (or former spouse) to another.
There is no absolute right to spousal support. Courts will evaluate various factors, including the recipient’s financial needs and the other party’s ability to pay.
Either party may request spousal support when they separate or divorce. However, the petitioning party must prove their need for alimony.
Unlike child support, there are no guidelines for determining alimony payment amounts. The parties can mutually agree to spousal support, or a judge can use their discretion when deciding. They may consider the parties’ finances, ability to earn income, and various other factors when making their decision.
It’s best to consult a spousal support lawyer in Douglasville to ensure that you receive an equitable outcome.
What Factors Will a Judge Consider When Determining Whether To Award Alimony in Georgia?
A judge will consider several factors when making a decision as to whether to grant alimony payments and in what amount.
Those factors include:
- How long the parties were married
- The standard of living established while the parties were married
- Each party’s financial resources
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, and helping the other spouse with education and career-building
- Each party’s age and physical/emotional condition
- Each party’s earning capacity, separate property, and debt
- The time it will take a party to seek education or training to find employment (if applicable)
The court can consider any other relevant factors when evaluating an alimony case. It’s important to note that a party is not entitled to alimony under Georgia’s domestic relations laws if their desertion or adultery caused the couple’s separation.
What Types of Alimony Can Be Awarded in a Douglasville Divorce Case?
Depending on your situation and a judge’s evaluation of the factors mentioned above, the following types of spousal support may be ordered:
A spouse can petition the court to award alimony while their divorce case is pending. If granted, the recipient will receive spousal support until the divorce is finalized or the temporary order is modified.
A judge may order permanent alimony in a divorce, voluntary separation, or where a party abandons their spouse. Permanent alimony obligations end upon the recipient’s remarriage or the death of either party.
This type of support is most often awarded after long-term marriages or cases involving a spouse who spent the entirety of the relationship as a childcare provider.
A judge may award spousal support payments for a certain amount of time in some cases. For instance, a spouse may need time to obtain education or training to support themself financially. Once they attain that goal, the alimony payments may cease.
These payments are typically owed weekly or monthly until the court orders otherwise.
Lump Sum Alimony
The parties may agree to, or a judge may order, lump sum spousal support. This is a one-time payment.
This arrangement may be beneficial if the paying spouse doesn’t want to deal with periodic payments and has the financial means to make a lump sum payment.
What If Someone Fails to Pay Alimony in Douglasville, GA?
It’s important to follow the court’s order and make alimony payments as required. Failure to do so can result in severe consequences.
The recipient spouse can notify the court of the other party’s failure to adhere to its order, leading to contempt of court charges.
The court might do the following to enforce the terms of the alimony order:
- Order the party to pay all outstanding amounts (and possibly interest)
- Income withholding/wage garnishment
- Issue a lien on the party’s property
- Send the party to jail if they willfully failed to pay alimony
If you fall behind on alimony payments because of a change in circumstances, it’s essential to seek legal advice from an alimony lawyer in Douglasville. You may qualify for a modification, which can reduce your payments and prevent you from facing penalties for nonpayment.
Can My Douglasville Alimony Agreement Be Modified?
It’s possible to modify an alimony order. The spouse seeking modification must petition the court and demonstrate a change in income and financial status of either spouse. However, the request typically cannot be filed within two years of the date of a prior final order regarding spousal support.
Grounds for modification include:
- A substantial change in financial status, such as the loss of employment or retirement
- The recipient spouse’s voluntary cohabitation with a romantic partner
The petition for modification must be accompanied by evidence proving the reason for the request.
If you’re seeking a reduction in your alimony payment obligation, you must prove why it’s justified. For example, you may show that you’ve taken a pay cut or suffered a disability that prevents you from working.
It’s best to receive assistance from a Douglasville alimony attorney if you need to modify your spousal support order. We can help you prove your case and argue it before a judge to get the results you deserve.
Contact Our Douglasville Alimony Attorneys for a Confidential Consultation
If you need assistance with an alimony matter in Douglasville, GA, Bardley McKnight Law should be your first call. With over four decades of combined experience, we know how to help clients navigate the complexities of the family court system.
We’ll offer sound legal advice and compassionate support as we handle each element of your case. Call our family law firm today to schedule an appointment with a skilled Douglasville spousal support attorney. We’ll discuss your situation, legal rights, and options and help you devise a strategy to move forward.