Calculation Of Alimony In Georgia
An alimony award and the amount to be paid depends on one spouses need for financial support and the others ability to pay. If a court establishes the presence of both, it will consider the following factors before deciding on a final support award:
- The marital living standards of the couple
- The length of the marriage
- The age, physical, and emotional health of each spouse
- The financial resources and earning capacity of both spouses
- The amount of time it would take the supported spouse to acquire education or work training to secure suitable employment
- The contribution of each spouse to the others education and career-building
- The degree by which the supported spouses education or skills got outdated while fulfilling homemaking responsibilities, including childcare
- Each spouses financial situation, including separate assets and debts
- Any other factor the court considers to be pertinent
A family court will also consider whether marital misconduct was the cause for marriage termination. The court may order the reduction or denial of alimony for a spouse that would have otherwise received alimony. This often happens if the court establishes that the spouse committed adultery or deserted the other spouse. Further, the court may order that the victim of marital misconduct be paid permanent alimony.
What Happens If I Dont Pay Alimony
If youre behind on alimony payments, the amount owed is known as alimony arrears. This amount can be collected via mediation, wage garnishment, or small claims court. Since alimony is a court-ordered payment, it is important that you pay exactly as youre ordered.
Its not uncommon for the paying spouse to be late on alimony payments. With deliberate refusal to pay or habitual payment problems, the court may charge you with contempt and punish you accordingly. Punishment includes penalties, fines, liens on property, or a jail term.
Argue That Your Spouse Does Not Need Alimony And That You Do Not Have The Ability To Pay Alimony
Some of the factors the court may consider in determining whether to award alimony or not include the needs of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay the requested alimony.
If you do not have the ability to pay the requested alimony based upon your financial circumstances and your spouse does not have that much living expenses, you may want to argue these factors in court.
If your spouse is asking for alimony in Georgia, to see what your options are. Atlanta Divorce Lawyer.
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How Is A Divorce In Ga Granted Will I Have To Go To Court
In uncontested cases meaning a case that has been settled between the parties without the necessity of the courts intervention a divorce is granted after all the necessary paperwork is filed with the court. In contested cases, a divorce would only be granted following a trial where the parties cannot settle the matter between themselves.
What Proof Does The Court Require
While the court does not require proof of sexual intimacy, it does require proof that there was the opportunity and inclination to commit adultery. This could include:
- Phone records
- Bookings for vacations or hotels
Essentially, the spouse filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery is trying to prove that his or her ex-partner was alone with another individual and was likely to be sexually intimate.
Partners who suspect infidelity sometimes also hire private investigators to obtain photos or recordings of the couple. A PIs evidence and testimony may be used to prove adultery however, its critical to hire a licensed and reputable PI. Georgia requires that PIs be licensed by the state.
Before you file for divorce, youll want to contact a Marietta divorce attorney to go over your options. Its not always the best idea to file for divorce on the grounds of adulteryespecially if its unlikely you can prove that adultery took place. A Georgia alimony attorney can discuss your situation and help determine if adultery may prove to be a bar to alimony.
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Avoid Paying Alimony In Georgia By Proving Desertion
Just as adultery could be a bar to alimony, desertion may be a bar to alimony as well. If a spouses desertion caused the separation between the spouses, that spouse is not entitled to alimony in Georgia.
Desertion basically means that a spouse has refused to cohabitate with the other spouse for some continuous period of time with the intent to desert the other spouse and without good reason or consent.
The Effect Of Infidelity On The Award Of Alimony In Georgia
If your spouse was engaged in an affair, that may well be the reason that you decided to end your marriage. Will his infidelity affect what you are awarded in alimony?
The court takes many factors into consideration when making a decision on spousal support, and marital misbehavior is one of them.
How alimony works in Georgia
In Georgia, there are thirteen grounds for divorce. Adultery is cited as one of the states at-fault grounds, and it can affect the decision of a judge as to whether alimony should be awarded. In determining the amount, the judge will then consider other factors, including:
- The duration of the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- The age and health of the parties
- The financial resources of each party
- The education level of each party
- The contributions each party made to the marriage
Kinds of alimony
The purpose of alimony in our state is to provide temporary financial help so that the spouse to whom it is awarded can adjust to life once the marriage is dissolved. However, the court can award alimony for as long as it is needed. An experienced divorce attorney will tell you that there are different kinds of alimony, too: periodic, in which lump-sum, which is made either in one payment or in installments and in-kind, which could be a piece of property or some kind of service.
How the court handles infidelity
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Effects Of Adultery On Equitable Division
This is a rare issue which will sway a judges decision. It is important to understand your judges bias and prejudices. A jury may also decide the issue of equitable division of property, and that can get more complicated and expensive.
If you drink all your marital money away, gamble it away, purchase lavish gifts, and/or trips for your paramour then the amount that can be traced, usually in the last year , could be taken into consideration as you already spent that portion of an equitable division. So, if youre looking at a 50/50 divide, maybe your final split is 60/40 .
Myth #: A Divorce Can Be Granted For Adultery Even If Both Spouses Committed Adultery
False. If both spouses committed adultery, the court will not grant the divorce based on adultery.
It can be a challenge to prove adultery in a divorce. The rules that allow evidence by Georgia law can complicate this matter. A ruling supporting or denying adultery can have a significant effect on the outcome of your divorce and your financial situation. If you plan to file a divorce petition based on adultery, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you.
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Is It Illegal To Cheat On Your Spouse In Georgia
Technically, Title 16, chapter 9, section 9 of Georgias Code of Criminal Conduct states that A married person commits the offense of adultery when he voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person other than his spouse and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor. Essentially, in Georgia, adultery is considered a criminal offense and categorized as a misdemeanor. However, no one has been criminally prosecuted for adultery in the state in the last 100 years.
Proving Your Spouses Infidelity In A Georgia Divorce Court
June 14, 2019 by
A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information cites adultery as the leading reason for divorce at a staggering 21.6% of all cases. This statistic makes sense since extramarital affairs are the final straw for most people. Petitioners and their divorce lawyers can confront unfaithful spouses in Georgia Superior Court rooms across the state.
The legal definition of adultery is sexual intercourse between a married individual and any person of any gender outside of his or her marriage. Proving adultery in family law courts impacts alimony payments and how assets are divided. It is difficult to gather enough evidence to meet all legal requirements.
How Does Adultery Affect Your Divorce in Georgia?Deciding to file for divorce on grounds of infidelity is a matter of preference. Some people do not want to go through the emotional anguish of reliving a spouses hurtful actions. Others see it as an opportunity for validation and financial protection. Infidelity affects divorce in two ways:
- The cheating spouses ability to collect alimony and
- How the equitable division of marital property is determined
A spouse guilty of adultery is usually unable to collect alimony payments from the innocent spouse. A judge will take his or her actions into consideration during asset division hearings. Additional property is often awarded to spouses whose partner spent joint funds on the affair.
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How Can I Prove Adultery
To prove Adultery during the divorce process, you need more than just accusations. A spouse must submit evidence to the court in the form of text messages, photos, videos, recordings, bank statements, or witnesses. The court often needs multiple undeniable forms of evidence to prove the cheating occurred during the marriage. However, you dont need proof of sexual intercourse, just that there was opportunity and desire. We recommend hiring a private investigator before alerting your spouse and filing for divorce. Allow yourself to gain as much evidence as possible.
Our Spousal Support Attorneys Are Ready To Help
If you are considering divorce as the primary wage-earner or the lower-earning spouse, you deserve to know the legal, financial, and tax implications of spousal support and be compensated appropriately for your contributions and support.
You should be able to move on from an unhappy marriage without fear of financial insecurity. The Gentry Law Firm helps you achieve your post-divorce goals with customized strategies for negotiating and enforcing spousal support payments.
Our legal team keeps your interests & needs at the center of our work:
- Seek Appropriate Spousal Support Amounts
- Ensure Support Meets Current & Future Needs
- Divide Marital Assets Fairly
- Enforce Support Plans and Modify When Necessary
- Consult with Financial Professionals
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Avoid Paying Alimony In Georgia By Proving Adultery
If your spouse committed adultery and this adultery is the cause of the separation, you may want to present evidence of this adultery to the court and argue that your spouses request for alimony should be denied. This is because a spouse cannot get alimony in Georgia if that spouses adultery caused the spouses separation. Adultery could be proven via either direct or circumstantial evidence.
How To Calculate Alimony In Georgia
The divorce process can be very confusing at first glance, especially regarding alimony. Heres how to calculate alimony in Georgia.
A judge considers many factors when calculating alimony during a divorce, and may not deem it necessary. Georgia courts determine the calculations by analyzing the needs and ability to pay of both parties, then deciding what is best for the situation.
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What Else Does Adultery Impact
Adultery generally doesn’t affect child custody in a Georgia divorce unless it exposed the children to inappropriate things. Adultery never affects child support in Georgia.
Adultery could impact how the court divides a divorcing couple’s assets, especially if the unfaithful spouse spent marital funds on the affair, for example, by buying gifts and paying for trips and hotel rooms.
Does Adultery Affect Alimony In Georgia
In short, Adultery absolutely can impact the outcome of your divorce!
Cheating during a marriage often ends in divorce. Its one of the leading causes of separation in Georgia. If this is the case for you, you probably have many questions on how cheating affects divorce. Read our latest article to learn about alimony and Adultery. If you still have questions, its probably time to hire an attorney. Give our office a call to book your case consultation at .
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Modification Or Termination Of Alimony In Georgia
Either spouse can request a review of spousal support unless there was a written agreement indicating that neither would seek to modify alimony in the future. The spouse who requests a review of alimony must demonstrate to the court a change in financial circumstances. Such circumstances include:
- Wage reduction or involuntary job loss
- A condition or illness that prevents the paying spouse from working
- An increase in income for the receiving spouse
If the receiving spouse starts to cohabit or remarries, the court will most certainly end alimony payments. For a judge to order modification of alimony, the change in circumstances has to be significant. A reduction of alimony may not be granted based on slight adjustments to either spouses financial resources or income.
When filing a motion to decrease alimony, you have to submit documents that indicate your financial information, including income, assets, debts and expenses. Along with the response to your request, your ex-spouse will also be required to provide the same documents.
Once a motion for modification has been filed, what follows is the discovery process. During this stage, either spouse has the right to request the other to produce additional financial documents. Such documents may be essential in showing a spouses need for financial support and the others ability to pay. Typically, these documents include pay stubs, financial documents and tax returns.
What Is The Length Of Marriage For Alimony In Ga
There is no specific requirement for length of marriage in order to get alimony in Georgia. Being married for a certain period of time is neither required nor sufficient for an award of alimony in Georgia.
In other words, a spouse who has been married for over 20 years could be denied alimony.
However, duration of the marriage is a factor the court may consider when the amount of alimony is determined.
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Attorney Fees For Divorce And Family Law
Most Attorneys and Law Firms charge by the hour and the average divorce cost with children involved is between $12,500 to $25,000 upward. The exact fees depend solely on billable hours and not necessarily results achieved. Results in your favor are never guaranteed anyway.
Attorney Sean R. Whitworth charges flat fees for all Family Law Matters, which means that you are aware of the cost ahead of time and can be prepared for the fees. The Law Offices of Sean R. Whitworth also offers payment plans in some circumstances and is always willing to assist with reasonable requests when possible. Also, there are NEVER any surprise bills.
Read about our Flat Fee System.
Enforcing An Alimony Order
Spousal support is a court order, and judges take a dim view of people who do not comply with what the court has ruled. Because of this, spouses who do not make alimony payments as ordered can face several unpleasant consequences in Georgia.
Sometimes, alimony falling into arrears is unavoidable due to health issues or job loss. In those cases, youre still obligated to pay the recipient spouse, but you may be able to seek a modification for relief.
Otherwise, the state of Georgia can take several possible actions to enforce an alimony order. For example, if a spouse fails to pay alimony despite a court order, that spouse may be held in contempt of court. That can lead to:
- Ordering the delinquent spouse to make all past due alimony payments
- Order interest on the arrears
- Order the sale of the delinquent spouses property to satisfy arrears
- Order the spouse to pay attorneys fees and court costs
- Order garnishments on the spouses wages. Georgia statutes give the court the authority to garnish up to 50% of a paycheck to satisfy alimony arrears.
- Order a spouse to serve jail time until they agree to pay spousal support. Rare and only used where there are serious violations and other remedies have failed.
In conjunction with jail time, the court may decide to enroll the delinquent spouse in a diversion program so that he can continue to work and pay alimony while serving a jail sentence.
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How Adultery Can Affect Your Divorce
Adultery can make divorce more emotionally charged, which extrapolates to a more litigious process. Time is your friend. The more time between the adultery, especially when the other spouse finds out about it and the divorce filing, the settlement discussions, and/or a hearing, usually the less emotional people are about the adultery. Also, the self-reflection that the marriage was breaking down, and the adultery was a sign of bigger problems, not the cause.
This is not the case if you neglected the child to pursue the affair , engage in prostitution/hire escorts, or have a revolving door of encounters. This can be a situation where sexual addiction could be in play and therapy may be recommended to rehab the clients image as a parent or change the dynamic going into court.
How Do You Legally Prove Adultery
Under Georgia law, adultery is a misdemeanor offense, and the state is quite specific with its definition of what constitutes adultery. Georgia defines adultery as when a married person voluntarily has sexual intercourse with a person other than his spouse.
More specifically, however, adultery can be a bar to alimony in Georgia, though not automatically. Georgia law states a party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that partys adultery or desertion.
Essentially, in order for adultery to be a bar to alimony, it has to be the main reason for a couples split. Unsurprisingly, it can be quite tricky to prove adultery in court, which is one reason why many individuals decide to file for divorce under other grounds. But if proving adultery is key to barring or limiting alimony payments, its important to understand what, exactly, is required by the court.
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