When a couple decides to divorce, many things need to be discussed, such as child custody, child support, and property division. In some cases, alimony also comes into play. Alimony is when one spouse financially supports the other, either throughout the divorce process or for some time after the divorce is finalized.
Alimony is a form of spousal support, and it is ordered by a judge to help maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. As you can probably guess, the spouse who earns less money is the one who typically receives alimony payments.
What Types of Alimony are Available in Georgia?
Temporary alimony is granted in cases where one spouse needs financial support throughout the divorce process. The divorce process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, which means the lesser earning spouse will need time to adjust to living off a single source of income. Temporary alimony does not guarantee alimony after the divorce is complete; therefore, an order for permanent alimony would have to be introduced if support is to continue after the divorce is finalized in court.
Permanent alimony can be ordered for any reasonable length of time, and a judge will make that decision based on the unique circumstances of the relationship. There are two types of permanent alimony: lump-sum alimony and periodic alimony. As the names suggest, lump-sum alimony is paid all at once, and periodic alimony is paid in installments, usually on a monthly basis. There are several factors the Court will consider when determining the amount of alimony a spouse should receive. Ultimately, the goal is for the lower-earning spouse to become self-supporting, therefore no longer needing alimony payments.
Qualifying for Alimony
Either spouse can petition for alimony, but before a judge awards it, they must find that one spouse truly needs the support and the other has the means to pay. The following factors are considered when determining whether alimony will be paid and how much:
- the marital standard of living
- length of the marriage
- age, physical, and emotional health
- financial resources
- contributions to the marriage, including childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse
- financial conditions of each spouse
Georgia courts consider whether one spouse’s marital misconduct caused the marriage to collapse. In fact, adultery is a bar to alimony, so if it is proven that a spouse committed adultery, he or she is not entitled to alimony.
The best way to ensure you have all your bases covered in your fight for alimony is through the help of an experienced attorney. Before you finalize your divorce, seek guidance. Consult J.G. Boyd Law today.
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