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Find out your elegability for Alimony and Child Support in Lawrenceville and Norcross

Alimony in Georgia

Georgia is a state which allows one party in a divorce proceeding to receive alimony under the appropriate circumstances. The alimony can start during the separation, if both parties agree to it or if a judge orders it, and that temporary order can be changed as the divorce goes on and is finalized.

Whether one must pay alimony and the sum that is required is determined by several factors, but these must be presented properly. You may be the one entitled to receive the spousal support, but the court is not supposed to order support unless the party deemed responsible is able to pay.

An attorney can help you understand the process. If you are getting a divorce in the Lawrenceville or Norcross area, you should consult with a divorce attorney as soon as possible so that you know what will be required of you and what you are entitled to.

Who is eligible to receive child support?

When deciding whether to award child support at all, the Court will first look at the overall state of affairs of both parties. They will assess both assets and liabilities, including real estate, cash and debts. At this time, the Court will also consider the lifestyle the parties were accustomed to during the marriage.

The Court will consider what the parties contributed to the marriage. One party may have contributed more money by earning or inheriting, but the other party may have supported the marriage for many years by taking care of the home and children.

Finally, the Court will consider the current abilities of the parties to earn money or whether there is a need for education or just time to find a job.

How does the court determine the amount of alimony?

The Court considers several factors when determining how much alimony to order, and those factors will determine who pays, how much the person pays and for how long the payments will go on.

Usually, the person who makes the most money will be the one who is ordered to pay alimony. This can be either the husband or the wife, and is based on the fact that the parties depended on each other while they were married.

How long will the court require the alimony to be paid?

When the Court considers how long the parties have been married, it makes a difference if the parties have only been recently married or if they spent years or even decades together. Someone who has only recently married may not be entitled to spousal support at all, or it may be a short-term order to allow time for classes or job hunting.

On the other hand, someone married for longer may be entitled to long-term or even permanent alimony. Although this is rare, sometimes the Court may order permanent alimony for a spouse who cannot work because of health or age.

A divorce lawyer can help you consider these factors as they relate to you.


Divorce Laws in Lawrenceville and Norcross

Anyone getting a divorce in Georgia needs to comply with some basic rules. It is important to consult a divorce attorney as soon as possible when you realize you are a party or potential party to a divorce.

Even if you feel that your divorce is friendly, emotions still tend to run high. Divorce is stressful and has a large impact on your life, and the advice of a good divorce lawyer will make the process less stressful and help preserve your peace of mind.

You could be treated unfairly if you don’t have an advocate who will help you. A local divorce lawyer can help people in and around Lawrenceville and Norcross.

Residency Requirements

The first requirement is that one of the parties must be a resident of Georgia for six months before the filing. It doesn’t matter which party is the resident, the one filing or the respondent.

After the original petition is filed, either party is free to move anywhere.

The Divorce Petition

Georgia law allows for both fault and no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce states that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Other grounds for divorce include adultery, desertion of at least a year, impotency, fraud in obtaining the marriage and drug addiction. If a party chooses to file based on one of these reasons, there must be proof provided to the court and the other party will be allowed to defend him or herself against the allegations.

Most people choose the no-fault divorce, because it is easier and faster. Your divorce lawyer can help you prepare the petition or respond to it. Responding to the petition can help preserve your rights.

Time Periods

A party who has been served a petition to dissolve the marriage will need to respond within thirty days, if he or she wants to argue against the petition. The court will not grant the divorce for at least 30 days.

Dividing up the Assets

Georgia is an “equitable distribution state,” so any property accumulated during the marriage, including retirement benefits, is subject to being split up between the parties. However, property that one party already had can be retained by the person who brought it into the marriage.

The Court can also consider other factors when dividing up the marital estate, such as how much each party can earn. Debts will also be divided up as fairly as possible.

Final Hearing and Decree

When the divorce is granted, the judge may order both parties to attend a hearing, particularly if there are issues in dispute.

The Final Decree will be the official written end to the marriage. In it, the judge will grant the divorce and make rulings on other important matters.

The final document may restore the wife’s maiden name and address custody of the children. Finally, the judge will order the end of the marriage.


Difference Between A Separation and A Divorce

What is the difference between a separation and a divorce?

In Georgia, you can have what is called a legal separation, which just means you are not having marital relations. Being legally separated in Georgia does not mean that the marriage is over.

There is no legal requirement that the parties in a divorce must separate for a period of time to qualify for a divorce, or that parties who have opted for a legal separation file for a divorce. There is also no requirement in a legal separation that the parties live in separate places, although making up and engaging in marital relations will adversely affect the separate status. These can be completely unrelated issues.

It is important to consult with a divorce lawyer in the Lawrenceville and Norcross areas if you are going through a separation, so you can understand your rights and how the separation will affect you.

What happens in a separation?

Georgia does not allow a divorce until a couple has been legally separated for 30 days, but the separation can simply be the filing. The separation can look the same as the marriage to people on the outside. Just like with a divorce, there is a residency requirement. One party to the divorce must be a resident of Georgia for six months before filing for an official separation.

A divorce can be a lot like a divorce, in many significant ways. For instance, parties can agree or ask that a judge order child support while they are separated. Georgia is also a state which allows for alimony, or spousal support, and this can also be ordered during a legal separation.

What is a separation agreement, and is it binding?

When parties file a separation agreement, they don’t need to go to Court, but the agreement is just as binding as a regular divorce agreement. They don’t need to bring in a divorce attorney, but if they choose to represent themselves, they are held to the same standard as if they had.

The separation agreement includes the kinds of things a divorce decree does. This is where the child support order and alimony order will be. Because there are so many factors to consider when determining child support and alimony, the parties should at least seek the advice of a divorce attorney if they are going to file the petition themselves. Because the Separation Agreement is legally binding, the long-term effects can be serious.

What happens if there is no divorce filed?

Georgia law allows coupes to separate without divorcing. Many couples stay legally bound in marriage because of various reasons, some personal and some practical.

Some people don’t divorce because their religion forbids it. Some couples stay married for longer because one of them has insurance through an employer and the other does not, so they stay married so that everyone in the family can maintain health insurance coverage.


Divorcing in Georgia: What Couples Need to Know About Ending Their Marriage in The Peach State

Divorce laws vary and, when considering divorce, it’s important to know the unique legal requirements of your state. Georgia has its own set of rules concerning divorce and, by exploring the overview of Georgia divorce laws below, you’ll be best equipped to end your marriage in The Peach State.

Residency requirement

Like all states, Georgia has its own residency requirements that must be met in order for a couple to be granted a divorce. While local jurisdictions may also have their own requirements, the state requirements to file for a divorce in Georgia are:

  • Either you or your spouse have been a resident of Georgia for six months immediately prior to filing; or
  • If you are a non-resident, you can file for divorce in the county that your spouse lives in, provided that he or she has been a resident for six months

You should always consult with an attorney regarding your eligibility to file for divorce in Georgia prior to taking any action.

Grounds for divorce

In Georgia, there are two types of grounds for divorce: fault and no-fault. In a no-fault divorce, the parties do not have to prove fault in order for their divorce to be granted: the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” There are 12 fault-based grounds of divorce recognized by the court:

  • Adultery
  • Incest
  • Mental incapacity at the time of marriage
  • Impotency
  • Force, menace, duress or fraud at the time of marriage
  • The wife was pregnant by someone other than her spouse at the time of the marriage, without the knowledge of the husband
  • Willful desertion
  • Two or more years of imprisonment for a crime involving moral turpitude
  • Habitual intoxication
  • Habitual drug addiction
  • Cruel treatment that causes reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm
  • Incurable mental illness

Division of property

Many couples are concerned with how their property will be divided after a divorce. Georgia is known as an equitable distribution state. Although there are exceptions to every rule, in an equitable distribution state, generally any property acquired during the marriage will be divided between the spouses, while property obtained either before the marriage or through third-party gifts or inheritance remain the property of the individual and will not be divided. Keep in mind that property obtained prior to a marriage could become the shared property of the spouses if circumstances change during the marriage—such as adding your spouse to the title of a vacation property you owned before getting married.The division of property must be “fair,” but does not have to be precisely equal. When considering what is fair, the court will consider a number of factors, such as each spouse’s income, assets, and debts.


Alimony is money awarded to one spouse from the other. It can be awarded either temporarily or permanently. The amount of alimony awarded will vary from case to case: each spouse’s financial needs, assets, income, earning capacity, and other relevant factors will be considered by the court in order to determine what amount of money is appropriate.

Child custody

If the divorcing couple has children and can’t come to an agreement on physical custody, legal custody, and visitation, a judge will decide for them. To make the decision, the judge will focus on what arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The judge can consider any relevant factor in determining the best interest of the child. Common examples of factors a judge could consider include each parent’s relationship with the child and the financial capacity of each parent to provide for the child, as well as any detrimental factors such as a history of drug/alcohol abuse or criminal record.

Child support

In order to calculate the amount of child support a parent may potentially owe, the courts consider the total gross income of each parent, as well as a number of other additional factors that influence a parent’s ability to support their child. The amount of the award is calculated using a worksheet developed by the Georgia legislature. The legislature has provided a schedule of basic child support obligations, based on the combined adjusted gross income of both parents: the amounts listed are subject to adjustment based on the particular factors that are relevant in your case.

Experienced divorce lawyer for Georgia residents

The Law Offices of Adam Stein provide excellence in legal representation for family law clients in Gwinnett County, Georgia. To learn more about our divorce and family law services, and to receive your free initial consultation, please visit our website at www.family-lawyer.biz or contact our office at (770) 822-1985.