The Right Balance Between Cooperation And Command
At Terri Herron Law, we listen to your story. Whether you need to make a request for alimony or challenge one, our attorney will tenaciously work to find a solution that meets your needs. She is compassionate, honest and straightforward with you. When dealing with your opponents, she knows when to negotiate and when to refuse to back down.
“After interviewing 10 lawyers, choosing Ms. Herron to represent me was the first easy choice I made during the divorce process. I had been a stay at home wife/mother for 2 years, and I wanted to make sure my husband knew he would have to pay alimony and child support. With Ms. Herron’s help, he definitely knew I wasn’t playing.” — Client testimonial
Alimony Is Not Automatic Under Georgia Law
In Georgia, alimony or spousal support is not automatic and a judge will not award it in every case. In addition to a final order for temporary or permanent alimony, a judge has the discretion to grant support while your divorce is pending. Certain alimony can be modified or terminated based on certain circumstances, unless otherwise agreed by both spouses.
A large marital estate does not necessarily mean that alimony is more likely; the totality of the situation and factors such as education and work history will play a crucial role. It is just one of the many issues that may be at play in the event of a high-asset divorce.
The purpose of alimony is to provide economic fairness in your divorce, which is why an order is based on both need and ability to pay. A judge has wide discretion to consider several factors in making this determination, which may include:
- Earning capacity of each spouse
- Separate property and financial resources
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Nonmonetary contributions made by each spouse
- Fault such as infidelity, which can act as a bar to alimony
Tax Code Changes Could Affect Alimony Requests
Prior to the approval of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, spouses responsible for making alimony payments could claim their payments as a deduction on their taxes. Recipient spouses, in return, were required to report these payments as income and thus paid income tax.
When the new tax code goes into effect, however, this 75-year-old existing alimony tax code law goes away, making it so that those paying alimony and those receiving it cannot claim the payments on their taxes.
Since the tax code doesn’t go into effect until after December 31, 2018, divorcing couples who file before then have access to a bargaining chip that could be worth quite a bit to the right spouse. Divorces after December 31, 2018, however, lose this bargaining chip, which could result in more contested divorce settlements and longer turn-around times on divorce filings as couples try to work out an equitable division of assets.
At Terri Herron Law, we are up to date on the current state of the law and how it affects our family law clients. Whether you’re a high net worth couple or not, we can help you determine how the change will affect your situation and what property division options are in your best interests, and then help you efficiently negotiate a fair divorce settlement.
Do You Still Have Questions? We Welcome Your Call.
Get your questions answered in a consultation with our attorney. Schedule your free consultation with us by calling 404-692-6487. You can also send us your information, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments are available at our main office in Roswell or any of our other four locations: Atlanta, Marietta, Snellville or Duluth.