Changing Alimony Amounts and Frequency After Your Divorce is Over - Modification

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Changing Alimony Amounts and Frequency After Your Divorce is Over - Modification

In Georgia, alimony is financial support that spouses provide for each other after a divorce, to help the lower-income earning spouse be able to have the same level of lifestyle they had during the marriage. At least until they are able to get on their feet. Most alimony, though it's called "permanent" is not actually forever - it usually lasts for a set amount of time. However, even during that set time, life can take unexpected turns, and financial circumstances may change for one or both of the former spouses. Fortunately, Georgia law allows for modifications to alimony payments if the court deems it necessary. When considering a modification request, the court will review the parties' financial situations, including their income and expenses. Additionally, changes in the recipient's needs or ability to support themselves may also be considered. It is important to note that modifications to alimony payments are not guaranteed, but they can be requested when certain circumstances happen. With the help of an experienced attorney, navigating the process of requesting a modification to alimony in Georgia can be much smoother.

When Alimony Can and Cannot be Modified

When it comes to modifying alimony in Georgia, it's important to know the limitations. While periodic payments can be modified, it's important to note that lump-sum alimony payments for permanent alimony cannot be modified. Once a lump-sum alimony payment is ordered, even if it is spread out over time, it must be paid in full and cannot be reduced or increased. This means that you can change periodic or monthly payments of alimony over time. And any changes made to these periodic payments must be based on the original agreement and the court's determinations about any changes in either party's financial status or income, since the final order of alimony. However, when things change, whether you need to increase or decrease payments made or received, modifications to periodic alimony payments can be made to better align with your evolving circumstances.

What the Court Looks for in Evaluating a Request to Modify Alimony

When it comes to modifying alimony in Georgia, the courts will carefully examine the financial status and current income levels of both former spouses before making any changes. Whether it's the paying spouse or the receiving spouse who files the petition for modification, they will need to show a significant change in income or financial circumstances of either or both of the parties. Additionally, the courts may consider whether the receiving former spouse is in a meretricious relationship with another person, which could impact the alimony amount. It's important to have a strong understanding of Georgia's laws surrounding alimony modifications and to seek the help of a skilled attorney who can guide you through the process. Remember, the courts will always strive for a fair and equitable resolution.

Determining Factors

When it comes to modifying alimony in Georgia, the courts take the process seriously. A hearing is held where both former spouses have the opportunity to present testimony and evidence regarding their current financial status. If the court determines that a substantial change has occurred since the original alimony order, such as a decrease or increase in income, or major change in financial status, they can modify the amount of periodic alimony awarded. It's essential to remember that the court may also decide to leave the amount unchanged. While the process may seem overwhelming, it's important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal proceedings with professionalism and empathy.

"Live in Lover" Law - Cohabitation Trigger

In Georgia, the legal status of "live in lovers" can have a significant impact on alimony payments after a divorce. When a former spouse who is receiving alimony enters into an open meretricious relationship or begins cohabitating with another partner, the alimony agreement may need to be modified. The state law allows for a reduction or even termination of alimony payments in these cases. While this may seem harsh to some, it is important to understand that alimony is meant to provide financial support for a spouse who is struggling after a divorce. If that spouse is now living with someone who is also sharing their expenses, it's only reasonable that the alimony payment should be adjusted accordingly. As always, anyone dealing with alimony issues should consult with a legal professional to understand their rights and obligations under the law.

Court Costs and Attorney's Fees

Navigating the legal system can be an overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to dealing with matters related to alimony. If you're filing a petition to modify alimony based on the "live in lover" law discussed above, it's important to understand that failing to provide sufficient evidence and losing the case will result in having to foot the bill for the other party's attorney's fees, since they would not have had to defend it otherwise. On the other hand, if you do succeed in your efforts to modify alimony, the court may award attorney's fees to the winning party. While these outcomes may seem daunting, it's important to remember that the court's ultimate goal is to arrive at a fair and just outcome for all parties involved. By working with an experienced attorney, you can navigate these complexities and ensure that your interests are protected.

How We Can Help

Here at Your Law Firm, we understand that navigating the court system can be daunting, especially when it comes to modifying periodic alimony. Whether you are seeking to bring a petition to modify alimony, or defend against one, our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way. Our professional and friendly approach ensures that you feel supported throughout the legal process. We are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected. Let us help you navigate the complexities of the court system and advocate on your behalf to the courts.