The Divorce Code of 1980 was established to help the court determine whether a divorcing spouse is entitled to spousal support or not. Most divorcing couples are not fully aware of the laws pertaining to spousal support, and there are many misconceptions surrounding the topic. If you and your spouse are divorcing, you should consult with your Georgia alimony and spousal support attorney to completely understand how your divorce will be affected by spousal support. In the meantime, here are some of things you should know about it as you head down the emotional and confusing path of divorce.

Spousal Support is Not Automatic

Even if you never worked a day in your married life, the Georgia courts will not assume that you will require financial support after your divorce is finalized. Your attorney will need file a petition, including a reasonable argument, and possibly financial records, to request spousal support payments. There have been cases wherein the spouse who was earning more money petitioned for spousal support, so be sure to consult with your attorney before signing or agreeing to anything.

Child Support is Not Spousal Support

If you have been awarded the children and child support, this does not mean that you cannot still apply for spousal support, too. Child support and spousal support are two separate types of payments that are allocated for different needs. Child support is determined at the proceedings for the children, and are specifically for the needs of the children, while spousal support is to help the spouse live at the same financial level that he or she was living at before the divorce and is usually determined at same point of the divorce proceeding.

Spousal Support Might Not Last Forever

Most people believe the misconception that once you are awarded spousal support payments, you will receive them for the rest of your life. However, courts take into consideration how long the marriage lasted, and assign a duration for spousal support that coincides with the length of the marriage. Payments might also automatically cease if the person begins a new legal relationship, remarries, or passes away.

There are Different Types of Spousal Support

While some people use the terms spousal support, alimony, and spousal maintenance interchangeably. It is important to understand that all three are slightly different. The main difference between the three terms is why and when you receive the payments. Your Georgia family lawyer can help you understand the difference between the three terms, and help you petition the court for the appropriate support payments that you need to continue to live a comfortable life.

Spousal support agreements are unique to each particular divorce situation, therefore, you will want to have a compassionate and knowledgeable legal team on your side. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, Attorneys at Law, today to request your initial consultation with one of our Alpharetta family law attorneys. We are confident that we can help you transition towards a new chapter of your life as comfortably as possible, with fairly determined spousal support payments to lead you in the right direction.