Advice for Negotiating Fair Alimony Payments

Let your family law attorney in Cumming know if you plan to seek alimony or if you suspect that your spouse will seek alimony. Your family law attorney can help you understand how the law applies to spousal support in Georgia and the factors that might be considered when determining alimony payments. Alimony payments aren’t always determined by a family court judge. Sometimes, spouses enter into negotiations or mediation with the help of family lawyers.

Understanding Alimony Laws

In Georgia, the family court judge is not required by law to award alimony. Courts consider many things when weighing a demand for alimony, but the two most prominent considerations are the financial circumstances of the parties and conduct of the parties during the marriage. Generally, if a spouse has an affair that is the reason for the divorce, the Court cannot award alimony. But even if that instance does not apply directly, Judges may be hesitant to award alimony to a party when evidence reveals he or she committed adultery earlier in the marriage, was abusive, neglectful, or otherwise did not behave suitably in the marriage. On the other hand, a spouse who has endured conduct from the other spouse detailed above may be more likely to receive alimony. Inform your divorce lawyer of any wrongdoing committed by your spouse. You may choose to use this information to gain an advantage when negotiating fair alimony payments.

Assessing Financial Resources

Even if there is conduct that might incline a Court to award alimony, the financial conditions of the parties must be analyzed as well. Before you enter into negotiations with your spouse, you must fully understand the financial resources of both parties. This is true regardless of whether you expect to receive or pay alimony. Your divorce lawyer may use discovery methods to obtain any information that you have difficulty retrieving. You’ll need to know about all of your spouse’s separate accounts and assets, along with his or her monthly wages. Be sure to include financial resources such as benefits, overtime, and bonuses. Compile this information for your own separate assets and income.

Evaluating Financial Needs

Next, you’ll need detailed expense reports for yourself and your spouse. These expense reports may show significant disparities in the standard of living. Since the goal of alimony is to allow the spouses to maintain similar standards of living that were enjoyed during the marriage, these reports can prove invaluable when you’re negotiating a fair alimony payment. For example, if you’re planning to seek alimony, your divorce lawyer may point out that your spouse is making $500 monthly payments on a luxury car while you are forced to use public transportation. Ultimately the end goal of assessing the financial resources and needs is to determine the probability of an alimony award and how much that award might be.

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