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  • FAMILY LAW

    Alimony 101

    Alimony defined; permanent and temporary

    (a) Alimony is an allowance out of one party’s estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately. It is either temporary or permanent.

    (b) A party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that party’s adultery or desertion. In all cases in which alimony is sought, the court shall receive evidence of the factual cause of the separation even though one or both of the parties may also seek a divorce, regardless of the grounds upon which a divorce is sought or granted by the court.

    (c) In all other cases in which alimony is sought, alimony is authorized, but is not required, to be awarded to either party in accordance with the needs of the party and the ability of the other party to pay. In determining whether or not to grant alimony, the court shall consider evidence of the conduct of each party toward the other.

    (d) Should either party die prior to the court’s order on the issue of alimony, any rights of the other party to alimony shall survive and be a lien upon the estate of the deceased party.

    (e) Pending final determination by the court of the right of either party to alimony, neither party shall make any substantial change in the assets of the party’s estate except in the course of ordinary business affairs and except for bona fide transfers for value.

    Proceedings to obtain temporary alimony; discretion of the judge; revision and enforcement of order allowing alimony

    (a) Whenever an action for divorce or for permanent alimony is pending, either party may apply at any time to the presiding judge of the court in which the same is pending, by petition, for an order granting the party temporary alimony pending the issuance of a final judgment in the case. After hearing both parties and the evidence as to all the circumstances of the parties and as to the fact of marriage, the court shall grant an order allowing such temporary alimony, including expenses of litigation, as the condition of the parties and the facts of the case may justify.

    (b) In arriving at a decision, the judge shall consider the peculiar necessities created for each party by the pending litigation and any evidence of a separate estate owned by either party. If the separate estate of the party seeking alimony is ample as compared with that of the other party, temporary alimony may be refused.

    (c) At a hearing on the application for temporary alimony, the merits of the case are not in issue; however, the judge, in fixing the amount of alimony, may inquire into the cause and circumstances of the separation rendering the alimony necessary and in his discretion may refuse it altogether.

    (d) On application, an order allowing temporary alimony shall be subject to revision by the court at any time and may be enforced either by writ of fieri facias or by attachment for contempt.

    (e) A failure to comply with the order allowing temporary alimony shall not deprive a party of the right either to prosecute or to defend the case.

    Permanent alimony; determination of amount

    (a) The finder of fact may grant permanent alimony to either party, either from the corpus of the estate or otherwise. The following shall be considered in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded:

    (1) The standard of living established during the marriage;

    (2) The duration of the marriage;

    (3) The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;

    (4) The financial resources of each party;

    (5) Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;

    (6) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;

    (7) The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and

    (8) Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

    (b) All obligations for permanent alimony, however created, the time for performance of which has not arrived, shall terminate upon remarriage of the party to whom the obligations are owed unless otherwise provided.

    Fathers’ Rights in Georgia: 6 FAQ

    Fathers’ Rights in Georgia 6 Common Questions & Answers I’m the Father.

    Have you been told the mother is more likely to receive custody and child support? As the father, you have the same rights to visitation, custody, and child support. Many men miss out on time with their child due to a misunderstanding of their rights.

    What should you know moving forward? We’re providing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions as it relates to a father’s rights.

    FAQs

    Does the law favor giving custody to the mother or the father?
    The parents are equal under the law.

    Do fathers have the same rights to custody and visitation as mothers?
    They have equal rights to visitation and custody if the parents are married.

    As an unwed father, am I entitled to custody of my child?
    For an unwed father in Georgia to get any parental rights, including custody or visitation rights, he must file a legitimation petition in court.  A legitimation petition legally recognizes that a man is the father of the child. The unwed father can then ask for custody, visitation and/or child support. Only the father can file for legitimation in court, and the petition should be filed in the county where the mother and child reside.

    Can the child’s mother prevent me from seeing the child?
    If you and the mother are unwed, you must initiate a court proceeding to legitimize the child in order to assert rights such as visitation. Without the legitimization, the mother can deny the father the opportunity to see the child if she so chooses, at least until the court has recognized the father.

    What factors does a judge consider when deciding which parent should have custody of a child?
    The judge considers a variety of factors when deciding who should have custody of the child. It is the responsibility of the court to rule in the best interest of the child. Factors may include the ability of the parent to provide for the child, parent’s involvement in the child’s education, criminal history, current home, etc.

    Can a father receive child support? 
    Fathers have just as much right to collect child support when they are the custodial parent as a mother would have.  Child support helps with the child’s shelter, clothing, food, and medical expenses.

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