and Spousal Support Attorneys
Handling Family Law Matters in Georgia for Over 20 Years
At the McLeod Law Firm P.C., we know that one
of the biggest worries for those experiencing the breakdown
of a marriage is the financial implications
of a divorce. Alimony payments (also known as maintenance
or spousal support) are one of the most highly contested issues
in Georgia divorce cases, and our law firm has significant
expertise and over 20 years of experience handling them to
our clients benefit.
Whether you have been the main household income earner during your marriage or the dependent partner, we have the resources and tools to ensure that you get what you need and deserve so you can start your new phase of life in the best financial position possible.
Types of Alimony (Spousal Support) Available in
In Georgia, the courts have broad powers to determine the award
of spousal support and they can make temporary, rehabilitative
and permanent alimony awards. The court will assess any award
on the needs of the party seeking alimony and the capability
of the other party to pay. Either spouse, regardless of gender,
may be required to make alimony payments, and generally speaking,
a spousal support award will take into account the ability
of the dependent partner to earn his or her own income.
The court can award temporary alimony for a short period of time so that the dependent partner can pay his or her bills and expenses while the divorce case proceeds through the court.
At McLeod Law Firm P.C., our family
law attorneys work with you to file a motion for a hearing
to establish temporary alimony and at the same time may request
a temporary advance of your legal fees and child support if
The court can award rehabilitative alimony to either party
with lesser employability or earning capacity for a defined
period while they become adjusted to their new circumstance.
The court, as part of the final divorce decree, may award
permanent alimony to the dependent party. If this is
awarded, it is worth noting that compensation is not required
after the death of the recipient and normally, unless the
court makes certain provisions, if he or she remarries.
In some circumstances, both parties may be able to agree
on the terms of any rehabilitative or permanent alimony payments,
in which case the court will typically incorporate this agreement
into the final divorce decree making it binding. At
McLeod Law Firm, P.C., we can review any agreement you and
your spouse reach prior to it being presented in court and
advise you on the implications and pitfalls of the agreement
often providing substantive improvements.
Please be aware that you will unlikely be entitled to alimony, even if you are the dependent partner, if your spouse can establish to the satisfaction of the court that the marital breakdown was caused by your adultery or desertion.
Deciding the Amount of Alimony
If the court decides that alimony is suitable in your case, it must then determine the amount to award and best method of payment. The court has wide discretion in this area and can order a lump sum payment, periodic payments or a combination of the two. The court can also order indirect alimony, such as the payment of medical insurance, life insurance and mortgage installments to benefit the recipient spouse.
In deciding the amount and type(s) of alimony in your case, a judge or jury will assess various circumstances incorporating those set out by state law, which include the following:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical and emotional condition of both spouses
- The financial resources of each party
- The time necessary for either spouse to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find gainful employment
- The future earning capacity of each party
- The contribution of each during the marriage, including
his or her involvement in homemaking, childcare, education,
and the career building and support of the other spouse
- The conduct of each party toward each other during the
- The separate assets of each party
- Any other relevant factor that the court deems fair and proper to consider
An expert family law attorney can persuasively guide the court
through the process of evaluating these factors and determining
the amount of alimony and support you will get or are liable
to pay. At McLeod Law Firm P.C., we will act aggressively
and compassionately for you by thoroughly investigating all
of your spouses assets, sources of income and other
relevant evidence so that we can present the best case to
the court to support your circumstances.
Modifying Alimony Payments
In certain cases, where there has been a significant financial
change in your circumstances, you can file a motion to have
your spousal support payments modified. Situations where a
modification to alimony may arise include the following:
- A change in your employment status or income, such as a loss of employment
- The onset of a debilitating medical condition
- A serious injury sustained at work that impacts on your ability to keep working
- Your spouse moving in or cohabiting with another partner
At McLeod Law Firm P.C., we will employ our 20 years of family
law experience to advise you on your specific situation and
whether you have legitimate grounds for a modification in
your alimony and spousal support payments.
Tax Consequences of Alimony Payments
We advise you to consult with a tax professional about the consequences
of any alimony payments you make or receive. Usually, the
spouse who is ordered to make alimony payments by the court
may deduct these from his or her gross taxable income and
the recipient of these payments must declare them as part
of his or her gross income.
We are here to help you. Alimony and Spousal Support is a
complex matter with many factors influencing whether it is
awarded and the extent of the award. It is important that
you do not agree to anything without first taking expert lawyer
advice. At McLeod Law Firm P.C., we want to guide you through
the pitfalls of this area of the law and use our many years
of experience to get you the alimony settlement that you deserve
The McLeod Law Firm, P.C. provides legal representation based
on 20 years of experience and commitment to its clients across
North Georgia including Gainesville Georgia, Hall County,
GA, Cumming, Jackson, Dawsonville, Forsyth County, and Dawson
County. We continually update our practice to incorporate
the most appropriate communication, technological, and legal
advances in an effort to better serve our clients. We are
located in historical downtown Gainesville, Georgia.
CALL (770) 536-0202 TODAY FOR YOUR INITIAL CASE EVALUATION!