Alimony Attorneys in Roswell and Cumming
The attorneys at The Sherman Law Group recognize that alimony is a complex, ever-evolving aspect of family law. Unlike child support, for instance, orders for alimony are not in any sense "automatic," and it does not follow any prescribed statutory or judicial formula. There is ample room for interpretation and wide-ranging subjective judgments. Because of the wide possibilities for alimony (maybe it will not be awarded at all, but maybe it will be awarded for life), you need to be thoroughly prepared. We have our own alimony calculator. Specifically, we base our alimony projections on the most up-to-date laws, rules and regulations and the most recent court cases.
A Georgia superior court judge ultimately decides what, if any, alimony should be paid. Or sometimes alimony is agreed to between the parties, without having to be decided by a judge. We understand that an alimony issue has the possibility to drastically transform a client's financial status and greatly impact his or her life. While there are many areas of law that are quite subjective, the issue of alimony relies on a judge's interpretations and feelings more than most.
The Concept of Alimony
Historically, alimony was always paid by a husband to his ex-wife. But since the 1970s, however, a focus on greater gender equality and, more importantly, the amount of women entering the workforce, has led to the recognition that a former husband may also be entitled to alimony -- that the wife may pay him. We are seeing an increasing number of cases where the former wife pays the former husband alimony. Indeed, there has been a great increase in stay-at-home fathers.
The legal concept of alimony is to provide financial help to a spouse that is unable to afford to care for himself or herself. A judge can look at a number of factors when deciding if and how much alimony should be paid.
Types of Spousal Support
Whether you believe you should receive alimony or wish to minimize your potential obligation to pay it, we will build your case and work to develop a sound and effective legal strategy. The basic questions include whether alimony should be granted at all and, if so, how much and for how long? Our Georgia courts may grant several types of spousal support:
- Permanent alimony, continuing until the death of either party or remarriage of the recipient
- Limited-duration alimony, support continuing for a stipulated period but not tied to any specific conditions
- Rehabilitative alimony, covering a defined, finite period and typically based on a plan submitted by the spouse receiving payments to seek education, training or job experience
Divorce and Family Lawyers Who Will Fight for Your Financial Interests and Your Future
Again, a court does not have to make an alimony award. But it can. And you must be ready.
As with many other family law issues, we try to reach agreement through amicable, fair negotiations, and our law firm will do everything possible to fully support your effort to do so. Many times that is the best solution.
There Is No Alimony Calculator: The Judge Decides
However, we must emphasize the importance of protecting your financial interests in divorce, and alimony can be intensely contested. By law, many factors can enter into a court decision on alimony. Some of the most prominent considerations by a Georgia court are:
- Length of the marriage (there is a much greater chance that alimony will be awarded in a longer marriage than in a marriage of shorter duration)
- Standard of living maintained during the marriage
- Need and ability to pay (did only one party work or did both parties?)
- Earning capacity of both parties (what experience, education & opportunities has each party had?)
The attorneys at The Sherman Law Group stay informed of the most recent court decisions and the most up-to-date laws, rules and regulations and are adept at analyzing the unique circumstances surrounding alimony awards. We have great experience in ensuring our clients are fully protected when alimony is an issue.
What Exactly Is Permanent Alimony?
The best definition of permanent alimony is, really, just what it sounds like. A married couple divorces and one party has to pay the other party for the rest of his or her life, or until the other spouses dies. In most cases, remarriage stops the payments. For that reason, many payees would rather live with someone else and not get remarried. It is a simple financial decision.
Historically, the rationale for permanent alimony was that women didn't go to college and rarely had careers. They stayed at home, taking care of the many household duties and raising the kids. Without permanent alimony, after a divorce, those types of women would be left with nothing. There were many stories in the media of how a divorced woman would be left destitute after divorce. Permanent alimony was needed. Now, however, many argue that its historical reasons for being put in place are not nearly as prevalent nowadays, and it should be abolished.
What To Do If Someone Is Not Paying Court-Ordered Alimony?
If a former spouse is not paying alimony, then the other spouse can bring a contempt motion to force payment. A contempt motion, in effect, asks the court to sanction the other party for violating a court order. If a judge finds the ex in contempt, there may be an order to pay all back alimony and to make future payments on time. If the spouse still fails to comply, a judge may put the spouse in jail and award attorney's fees for the cost of the motion.
Call Us Now for a Free Case Evaluation
As a former Magistrate Judge, Senior Assistant County Attorney and Assistant Attorney General, Valerie W. Sherman & William H. Sherman understand how to make effective, compelling cases for our clients. Whatever the intricacies of your alimony matter, contact us today to form a sound plan and proactive legal approach. Offices conveniently located in Roswell, GA and Cumming, GA to effectively serve clients in the Atlanta Metro Area, North Fulton County and North Georgia. Our phone number is 678-215-4106.