The COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives. Experts predicted the “new normal” would change the way we do everything, from grocery shopping to schooling our children.
Experts also predicted a rise in divorce rates. While this didn’t happen exactly as predicted, many couples today are navigating their way through a divorce or separation.
Custody and child support often take center stage during a divorce. But the fair division of assets and the awarding of alimony both deserve adequate attention.
If you’re in the process of a divorce, let’s take a look at how an Alpharetta spousal support attorney can help you and your partner reach a fair and equitable settlement.
Hobson & Hobson, P.C is comprised of experienced alimony and spousal support attorneys in Alpharetta that rely on our special litigation training and over 30 years of combined experience in alimony and spousal support cases to provide each client with an effective outcome while fighting for your parental rights. Contact us at 770-284-6153 or submit a contact form for us to contact you ASAP.
Divorce and legal separation differ only slightly. All the legal procedures are the same but divorce ends the marriage and separation does not. Legal orders like child support and spousal support apply to both.
Some couples might choose separation over divorce to allow one party to retain access to health insurance. Others choose separation so they’ll have time to decide if divorce is what they really want.
At any time separated couples can return to court and start divorce proceedings. They can even decide to dissolve the separation agreement and stay married.
Divorce, however, is final. A family law attorney can help you navigate the differences.
During a divorce or separation, the court will determine which parent receives primary custody of minor children. They will also award child support to the primary parent.
When awarding child support the judge considers each parent’s income. They also consider the amount of time the children spend with each parent. The court also looks at the children’s age and if either parent has remarried or has a live-in partner.
In almost all cases child support payments continue until the child is 18 years old. Other considerations are made for special needs children.
Alimony, or spousal support, is almost always calculated after child support. Alimony is the payment made to one spouse so they can maintain the lifestyle they’re accustomed to.
Alimony used to be a standard part of divorce proceedings. But now that many partners earn similar or equal wages alimony isn’t awarded in the same manner as it used to be.
When men were the primary earners in marriage alimony was almost always awarded to women going through a divorce. Women took on all household and childcare duties and rarely worked outside the home.
The argument was that they should receive financial support so they could continue to take care of the children without the need for a formal job.
Alimony and spousal support are very different today. Many women earn as much or more than their partners. In some cases, women are ordered to pay alimony to their ex-husbands. Same-sex marriages are also affected. If one partner opted to focus on raising children they might be entitled to alimony if the marriage ends.
Earning potential is also a factor. One spouse may have the education or skills to hold a high-paying job but chose not to. In this case, alimony may only be granted until that spouse finds gainful employment.
Physical and mental health are also considered. If one spouse is unable to work due to health reasons their divorce lawyer may request alimony. Additionally, if one spouse abandons the other this can also be a good argument for alimony.
In a divorce, assets are important factors when considering alimony. Assets are either marital or non-marital and both are important when the judge decides on alimony.
Marital assets are accrued during the marriage. This can include property, cars and investments made together. Non-marital assets were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage.
For instance, if one spouse chooses not to work but has income from a trust or inheritance that may prevent that spouse from receiving alimony. The judge may decide that income is sufficient for lifestyle maintenance.
If joint assets are liquidated during a divorce, the proceeds may be high enough to disqualify one spouse from alimony eligibility. If a house is sold during a divorce, one spouse may forego a portion of their equity in lieu of potential alimony payments.
Divorce can also prompt a spouse to hide assets, especially if they feel they might be on the hook for alimony. Non-marital assets are especially vulnerable in this case. Your divorce attorney can consult a forensic accountant if they feel assets aren’t fully disclosed.
Prenuptial agreements are rising in popularity, especially among younger people. Many people choose a prenup to protect their future spouse from their own debt. But more common is a prenuptial agreement written to keep one’s assets from becoming joint property.
Prenups are almost always valid in court. But there are a few instances where a judge may decide a prenup is invalid. If one spouse did not fully disclose assets or if one spouse signed without legal representation a judge may find the prenuptial agreement void, in part or in whole.
Having a prenup doesn’t mean you can’t receive alimony but it does make the process more difficult.
Divorce or separation is difficult to go through. Emotions run high during this process and can often cloud your judgment.
A spousal support lawyer at Hobson & Hobson is your best ally during this process. They will work to ensure assets are divided fairly and alimony is awarded if possible. Learn more about the rights you have during divorce proceedings and speak with a family law practitioner for your own peace of mind.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual matter. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship in any form.
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