Marietta Separate Maintenance Lawyer
Couples sometimes don’t want to divorce even though they choose to live apart. Their reasons vary. Some might have religious objections to divorce, or their families have those objections. Others want to retain access to certain government benefits by staying married. Unlike other states, Georgia does not recognize legal separation. However, couples can file a separate maintenance action which, in Georgia, is very similar. To discuss whether this is a good option for you, call our Marietta separate maintenance lawyers today to review.
What is Separate Maintenance?
When spouses no longer want to live together, they can separately set up households. However, they need to determine certain legal issues, such as child custody if they have children. One spouse might also want financial support in the form of alimony. Because the couple is not divorcing, they cannot use the divorce process. However, Georgia Code § 19-6-10 allows couples who are living apart to seek judicial orders respecting child support and alimony. Other statutes allow the couple to seek custody orders and the division of marital property.
At base, a couple decides all the legal issues they would if they were divorcing—but they stay married. We have found that couples often disagree just as much on these issues when seeking separate maintenance as they would if they were divorcing.
Should You Seek Separate Maintenance?
Most people realize when a relationship is over. They decide to move on, or at least live independently. The question then becomes whether they want to divorce or stay married but live separately.
At Buckhead Family Law, we do not steer clients toward either divorce or separation. Instead, we listen to our clients explain their goals and fears, then come up with legal solutions that address their concerns.
Clients should consider many factors, such as whether they think they will want to remarry. You can only be married to one person at a time, so obtaining a decree for separate maintenance is an impediment to remarriage. We encourage clients to also consider whether they hope to reconcile. If so, they might delay seeking separate maintenance, or they might pursue it with their eyes open to the possibility of future reconciliation.
One advantage of separate maintenance is time. Although Georgia has a 30 day “cooling off” period for divorce, there is no required wait when seeking a decree for separate maintenance.
Do You Need a Lawyer? Contact Buckhead Family Law Today
Disputes involving separate maintenance can be just as heated as divorces, especially when a couple has children or considerable assets they amassed while married. Our Marietta separate maintenance attorneys can negotiate on your behalf. If that fails, then we can request that a judge decide any disputed issues in your favor.
At Buckhead Law, our family lawyers excel at pulling together a strong case for our clients who are seeking to separate. We will talk ahead of time to discuss your goals and then come up with a roadmap for getting where you want to go. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.