Johns Creek Separate Maintenance Lawyer
In most states, spouses who are looking for financial support while separated from their partners, must first initiate divorce proceedings. Georgia law, however, gives couples another option, known as separate maintenance. Under state law, couples who wish to stay married, but who also want to live separate lives, often qualify for an alimony-like financial award, without having to go through a divorce. For help determining whether you qualify for separate maintenance, please reach out to an experienced Johns Creek separate maintenance lawyer today.
Who Qualifies for Separate Maintenance?
In Georgia, a couple can request separate maintenance, which is a form of alimony-like financial assistance. This options is, however, only available to those who:
- Have a valid marriage;
- Are living in a bona fide state of separation; and
- Are not involved in divorce proceedings.
When filing for separate maintenance, a couple will need to provide proof that they satisfy these requirements. Proving that a marriage exists and that the parties aren’t involved in divorce proceedings is often the simpler part of this process, as it can be proven with a valid marriage license and the necessary legal documents. Demonstrating a bona fide separation can, however, be more difficult, although a court will generally be convinced by evidence showing a real separation, including proof that the couple lives apart and pay separate bills.
Divorce Proceedings vs. Separate Maintenance
Separate maintenance suits are similar to divorce proceedings, in that they require couples to resolve issues that would be settled in divorce, such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony. However, the finalization of these proceedings, unlike divorce, will not result in the dissolution of the marriage. This means that couples are not allowed to remarry once they’ve been granted a separate maintenance decree, but must go through the official divorce process to do so. There are also different filing and service requirements for those who are seeking separate maintenance, making it especially important for couples who are looking to legally separate, to speak with an attorney before moving forward.
Is Separate Maintenance Right for Me?
Separate maintenance proceedings give spouses another option when they no longer wish to live as a married couple, but who do not want to or cannot obtain a divorce because:
- Neither party meets the residency requirements to file for divorce in Georgia;
- The parties’ religious beliefs prohibit divorce;
- Of cultural or social reasons;
- They wish to maintain benefits for a dependent spouse; or
- There is a possibility of reconciliation in the future.
If you think that separate maintenance might be right for you and your family, please reach out to our office to learn more about how an experienced attorney can help.
Speak with a Dedicated Johns Creek Separate Maintenance Lawyer
To set up an initial consultation with an experienced Johns Creek separate maintenance attorney, please call Buckhead Family Law at 470-600-6699 today. You can also reach a member of our legal team by completing one of our online contact forms.