Alimony & Spousal Support


– Spousal Support

At The Thomann Law Firm, we will help you navigate the dissolution of marriage process, while focusing on long and short term goals.  We will help you transition into the next stage of your life while protecting your rights.

Spousal support—also known as alimony—is granted during a legally married couple’s separation or upon the finalization of a couple’s divorce. In a nutshell, the funds ensure that the lower-earning (or “dependent”) partner is able to maintain the same standard of living when separated from the higher-earning partne

Alimony and Spousal Support 

When a married couple divorce, the court may consider an agreement between the couple or make its own decision to award “alimony” or spousal support Alpharetta to one of the former spouses. Remember that this is decided on a case-by-case basis and is separate from the division of marital property. Alimony vs. child support confuses most people, and they have many questions about it because they don’t understand the difference. Alimony is different from child support payments as child support money is paid to the custodial parent who can only use it to take care of the child.

Alimony And Spousal SupportWhat Is Alimony?

The purpose of alimony is to provide a continuing income to a lower-wage-earning or non-wage-earning spouse to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. Part of the justification is that an ex-spouse needs time to develop job skills to support themselves, especially if he or she may have decided to forego a career to support the family.

Another purpose may be to ensure a spouse continues with the standard of living he or she had during marriage despite changes to incomes, bonuses, income tax, taxable income, tax returns, etc.

Our Alpharetta family law attorney at The Thomann Law Firm can help you come up with strong valid arguments that can convince the courts to award you alimony/spousal support.

Determining the Amount of Alimony 

Unlike child support, which most states have very specific monetary guidelines that mandate it, the courts have broad discretion when it comes to determining whether to award spousal support and, if so, decide on the amount and period.

Alimony And Spousal SupportMost states’ spousal support statutes are based on The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which recommend that the courts consider the following factors when making decisions about alimony awards:

  • The age, financial condition, physical condition, and emotional state of the former spouses.
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The standard of living of the couple during the marriage;
  • The time the recipient would need to become self-sufficient, considering education or training, and
  • The payer spouse’s ability to support the recipient and still support himself or herself.

Alimony and Spousal Support Orders

While estimating awards may be hard, it’s even harder to gauge whether the payer spouse will comply with a spousal support order Alpharetta. Alimony enforcement isn’t like child support enforcement that has the “teeth” of liens, wage garnishment, and other enforcement mechanisms. However, the recipient could go back to court to file a contempt proceeding to force payment.

Since a court can award alimony with an order, a former spouse who’s owed alimony can use the mechanisms available for enforcing any court order.

How Long Must Alimony Be Paid?

Alimony is usually considered “rehabilitative,” that is, the court orders spousal support for only so long as it’s necessary for the recipient spouse to receive training that will enable him or her to become self-supporting.

The payments must continue until the court orders otherwise if the divorce decree does not specify a spousal support termination date. In most states, the awards end if the recipient remarries.

Termination upon the death of the payer is not necessarily automatic; in cases where it’s unlikely that the recipient spouse will secure gainful employment, perhaps, due to health considerations or age, the court may order the provision of further support from the estate or life insurance proceeds of the payer (the deceased).

Alimony Trends

In the past, most alimony awards compelled breadwinning former husbands to make payments to former wives. Culture has changed dramatically, and now most marriages include two wage earners. The courts and spousal support awards have kept pace. Men are more apt to be primary parents, and women are viewed as less dependent.

Alimony And Spousal SupportMore and more, there has been an erosion of the tradition of men paying spousal support and women receiving it, and it’s not unusual to find orders of alimony payments from ex-wife to ex-husband.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide has also led to a change in alimony trends. It has given rise to alimony orders in same-sex divorce cases, in which spouses with higher earnings will have to pay alimony to a dependent same-sex spouse.



Contact Our Alpharetta Family Law Attorney

The issue of alimony comes up in most divorces, whether it is through a divorce trial or out-of-court settlements. Since establishing yourself financially after a divorce is often difficult, alimony and spousal support Georgia can be vital in helping you adjust to life after marriage.

To understand your legal options, and know whether you could receive or owe alimony, you should speak with our experienced family law attorney at The Thomann Law Firm today.

Call us at 678-389-8581 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation!



Practice Areas Of Expertise

Child Support

At the Thomann Law Firm, we understand child support laws and how to obtain desirable results in establishing new child support orders or modifying existing child support orders

Custody | Visitation

Long after a divorce is finalized, custody issues often continue to arise.  At The Thomann Law Firm, we focus on the children’s best interests when dealing with custody and visitation issues.


At The Thomann Law Firm, we will help you navigate the dissolution of marriage process, while focusing on long and short term goals.  We will help you transition into the next stage of your life while protecting your rights.

Domestic Violence

Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence?
The Thomann Law Firm is available to provide aggressive representation for victims of domestic violence.  If you have experienced abuse or threats of domestic violence, call us today for a consultation.

Property Division

Division of Property can be a stressful situation. At Thomann Family Law we recognize this and vow to make the process as stress free as possible by handling everything and keeping you informed, and up to date. We will make sure you are adequalty represented.

Alimony & Spousal Support

Spousal support—also known as alimony—is granted during a legally married couple’s separation or upon the finalization of a couple’s divorce.

Let's Work Together

As an experienced family law trials lawyer I represent you to the fullest capacity. Service area licensed in the state of Georgia. Nearby cities  we service Alpharetta, Cumming, Roswell, Marietta, Atlanta, Druid Hills, Gresham Park, Decatur, Hapeville, North Atlanta, North Decatur, Candler-MacAfee, North Druid Hills, Avondale Estates, Panthersville, Scottdale, Conley, College Park, Vinings, Belvedere Park, Clarkston, Forest Park, Chamblee, Lake City, Mableton, Smyrna, Tucker and surrounding area

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  • Domestic Violence
  • Name Changes
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Atlanta Area Children of Divorce Seminars
(required for some family law litigants)

Cherokee County 770.535.6909
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