Can I Modify Alimony in Georgia

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After a  divorce, many legal aspects and procedures are flexible in terms of modifications. Life situations can change after a divorce is finalized. The law provides a way for individuals to ensure that life does move smoothly, especially in situations involving children. Long story short, in Georgia, you can modify alimony. You just have to go through the appropriate steps to do so.

Here’s How You Modify Alimony in Georgia

Georgia law permits alimony modifications for two reasons:

  • Either former spouse must have had a change in income or financial status.
  • Either former spouse may petition if other is found to be voluntarily cohabitating with a third party in a sexual or romantic relationship.

Keep in mind that alimony simply means spousal support, funds directly sent to an individual for the purposes of quality of living. A partnership that is severed may result in issues regarding financial stability, and by law if it’s necessary, one spouse who couldn’t reasonably function without the other may be entitled to some support.

If that one former spouse then cohabitates with another individual, the reasonable assumption is that there is some support occurring in that environment, which may constitute a modification of alimony—in other words, the former spouse may no longer need the financial assistance. According to legal rhetoric, attorneys refer to it as the live in lover law.

Likewise, if there is a financial change in the one former spouse providing alimony, that could constitute a modification given the circumstances. Perhaps a lay-off occurred. Income won’t be the same; it would require a petition that would limit spousal support or even halt it entirely. The same would apply vice versa as well in a couple scenarios, such as the receiving former spouse obtaining a job with a high enough salary to support the cost of living, and that may also constitute a modification of alimony.

Regardless of the situation, there are specific requirements to meet.

How to Modify Alimony in Georgia

Here are the steps:

  1. You or the former spouse can petition for a modification via a form to file. Which form you file depends on whether you wish to increase or decrease modification.
  2. You file the petition as a separate civil action in the Superior Court of where the defendant resides, simply meaning that it has nothing to do with your divorce.
  3. The defendant must be then served the original petition along with a summons via a sheriff or qualified process server.
  4. The defendant must then receive proper notice of all trials or hearings scheduled.
  5. Additionally, default judgments due to no response to petition by defendant are actually not allowed. However, other penalties do apply.

More Questions About Alimony Modification? Ask an Attorney

Attorney fees tend to be awarded by the presiding court to the prevailing party in a legal matter of alimony modification, so also make note of that. As simple of a process as it is, oftentimes there may be disputes, so it would be in your best interest to have an attorney on your side.

Written on behalf of Kelli Hooper by AskTheLawyers.com.

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