Alpharetta Separate Maintenance Lawyer
If you are considering filing an action for separate maintenance, it’s imperative to understand that this is not the same as filing for divorce. Your marriage is not legally dissolved, meaning you cannot marry another person either. The court will issue an order of support and detail each spouse’s obligations and rights while they live separately. If one of you violates the order of separate maintenance, you could be facing a contempt of court charge. To learn more about separate maintenance orders, contact an Alpharetta separate maintenance lawyer.
At Buckhead Family Law, we have over a decade of experience handling family law matters in Georgia, including separate maintenance actions. Contact our office and let us help you determine whether pursuing an order for separate maintenance achieves the desired results you want.
What Is Separate Maintenance?
Georgia doesn’t recognize legal separation as some other states do. However, an order for separate maintenance is available for spouses who want to remain married but live separately and apart. Either spouse can file this action. It’s similar to filing for divorce as you work through all the same issues you need to in a divorce; however, you are separated rather than legally divorced. You can decide on child custody, child support, and alimony and even divide your assets and debts.
Reasons to Consider Separate Maintenance
Every couple has different reasons they may be considering separate maintenance rather than a divorce. The most common reasons for filing separate maintenance include:
- There is a chance you may possibly reconcile
- You have religious beliefs that don’t allow divorce
- To protect or retain certain marital assets
- Cultural or social reasons
- To maintain health insurance for a dependent spouse
- Both spouses don’t satisfy Georgia’s residency requirements yet for a divorce filing
- Other financial or legal reasons such as government benefits, immigration, or bankruptcy
When Separate Maintenance Isn’t Recommended
Separate maintenance isn’t for everyone. It still costs money and time to go through the separate maintenance action, and you’ll still be legally married. If there is any chance of you wanting to remarry soon, you will have to go through the full divorce process, which is added time and expense. If you try to remarry while under a separate maintenance order, your spouse could have your marriage declared invalid because you are already legally married. This is one situation where you could be facing court sanctions too.
How Separate Maintenance Actions Work
The process of filing a separate maintenance action is similar to divorce. You will start by filing a petition and serve it to your spouse, either by a process server or sheriff. The difference is that the person filing the divorce doesn’t need to be a Georgia resident for the preceding six months like you do with a Georgia divorce. Once the court makes a decision, the parties will receive notice that the separate maintenance order has been finalized.
Contact an Alpharetta Separate Maintenance Attorney
If you need assistance with filing a separate maintenance order in Georgia, speak with one of our Alpharetta separate maintenance attorneys. Contact Buckhead Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation and let us help you determine whether a separate maintenance petition is right for your situation.