Given that separate maintenance actions are somewhat uncommon, the appellate courts in Georgia have not had the opportunity to provide clear answers to every question that may come up in a separate maintenance case. If you are considering pursuing a separate maintenance action, you should be aware of the gray areas in the law. This is especially true if your case will be contested, meaning you and your spouse do not agree on every issue and the judge will have to decide those issues that you do not agree on. As with divorce cases, Georgia courts can award child support and alimony as part of a legal separation action. The child support statute also recognizes that child support may be awarded in separate maintenance actions.
The cases where the appellate courts have said that a divorce is the only avenue for equitable division of marital property are not separate maintenance cases; instead, they involve estate disputes.
In Segars v. The Court decided that even though the Wife had asked for an equitable division of marital property in the divorce action, her estate could not pursue that claim after her death.
But is that rule meant to apply in separate maintenance actions or only estate disputes, like the Segars case? This issue arose in three separate appeals involving the same couple, known as the Goodman cases. The Goodmans filed for legal separation and reached an agreement that included how they would divide their property.
But the Court of Appeals did not answer this question. Instead, it found that because the Wife had relied on and sought to enforce the legal separation order that divided property in the first appeal of the divorce order, she could not claim that the legal separation order was improper in the second appeal.
If you are considering seeking a legal separation, it is important to be aware of this uncertainty. In a legal separation case, it is possible the judge will interpret the law to mean that he or she cannot order any division of marital property, even if you and your spouse agree on how to divide everything.
The judge may decide to award custody, child support and alimony but decline to issue an order declaring which assets or debts will belong to which party. This would mean that all marital property property acquired during the marriage except through gift or inheritance would remain the property of both you and your spouse.
I suspect he was seeing someone prior to our separation, but I have no evidence. However, he is dating now and has admitted to such. In GA are you still considered married until you are divorced or, as his attorney has approached this, he is free to date after I was . However, dating during separation may have an effect on alimony, child custody, and visitation decisions in a contested divorce. How Alimony Is Impacted by Dating During Separation. Dating during separation can affect your ability to receive alimony if your spouse claims that you started the relationship prior to filing for divorce. Every state has its own set of laws regarding marriage, separation and divorce that apply to people who live in that state. In Georgia, these laws are found in the Domestic Relations section of Title 19 of the Official Georgia Code.
The marital property could potentially be divided later if a divorce is filed, but there would be nothing preventing you or your spouse from selling, transferring or dissipating assets so long as a divorce was not pending. If you are concerned about what your spouse may do with certain assets, it is important to consider all options and weigh the risks before deciding whether to pursue a legal separation or a divorce.
She focuses her practice exclusively on family law matters including divorce, alimony, asset division, child custody, child support, contempt and modification actions, as well as legitimation and grandparent visitation cases.
What is a separation? A separation happens when a couple decides to live separately and apart without formally ending their marriage through divorce. Georgia allows a spouse to ask the court for spousal support and child support, just as if the couple was getting a divorce, if: . But if one spouse begins dating another person with no physical contact involved, they probably have not committed adultery. Impact of Committing Adultery. The impact it has during legal separation depends on the state the married couple lives in. In some states, it is a criminal offense. In Georgia, a separate maintenance action sometimes referred to as a "legal separation," can be an alternative to divorce but may not provide everything you are seeking. Given that separate maintenance actions are somewhat uncommon, the appellate courts in Georgia have not had the opportunity to provide clear answers to every question that.
First, there is no six month residency requirement. Second, the defendant must be personally served. Unlike divorce cases, there can be no decree where a defendant is served by publication.
In an uncontested suit for a legal separation, the parties work out a marital settlement agreement regarding issues such as child support, alimony, child custody, property division, and any other issues.
The parties do not ask the Judge to settle arguments between them, but rather work things out by themselves. In an uncontested case, the Judge is only asked to approve the decisions which you have made together with your spouse.
However, the agreement will be the basis for any future divorce action so you do not need to sign an agreement without the advice of a Georgia Divorce Attorney. The exact wording can make a great deal of difference in the future.
A contested suit for separate maintenance is one in which the parties cannot work out an agreement.
The parties ask the Judge to settle the arguments between them, and each will have to present evidence at a trial. This process can be quite complicated and should not be attempted on your own.
Legal separation and dating in georgia
Your attorney will need additional documents in order to conduct discovery, which is a formal process of gathering evidence for use at trial. Discovery can include depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and other procedures.
Here are the steps in a legal separation in Georgia. STEP 5: Attach any other necessary documents.
A Georgia legal separation or an order for separate maintenance and support does not end a marriage. You can not marry someone else if you are legally separated and not divorced. A legal separation is for spouses that do not want to get divorced but want to live apart. The court order for separate maintenance and support will define the rights. Jun 05, "Legal separation" in Georgia is defined as simply no longer engaging in marital relations. There are no terms around the time frame of how long this must have occurred and the two people can be legally separated even if they reside in the same house, however not sharing the same room or having sexual relations. The Georgia courts do not recognize legal separation; it is not an action they can grant. In Georgia, "legal separation" means the spouses no longer engage in marital relations. The term has no time frame, and the two people can be legally separated even if they reside in the same house but do not share the same room or have sexual relations.
STEP 6: Produce the required financial documents. STEP 7: Pay the filing fee.
STEP 8: File the forms. Under no circumstance will Divorce In Georgia be held liable for any loss or damage caused by a visitor's reliance on information obtained through this web site or any other communication from us.