Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is a payment made from one former spouse to the other to help balance any economic disadvantage caused by divorce. Traditionally, this meant ex-wives who worked in the home during the marriage would have time to transition to a career outside of the home. However, both men and women now seek alimony.
Georgia recognizes both temporary alimony and permanent alimony. Temporary alimony is more commonly awarded. Temporary alimony is usually awarded to help one former spouse to transition from being married to being single. However, permanent alimony is awarded in cases when one former spouse probably will not otherwise be able to financially support himself or herself.
The court will only award alimony if one spouse needs the money and the other spouse can afford to pay an alimony award. If the divorce was caused by one former spouse committing adultery or desertion, that individual will not be able to seek alimony.
Once the court determines that alimony should be awarded, it is tasked with figuring out how much the alimony award should be. To this end, the court will consider all relevant factors. Some details the court may consider, include:
- What was the standard of living during the marriage?
- How long did the marriage last?
- What is the age and emotional condition of both former spouses.
- What financial resources to both former spouses have?
- How much time is needed for either person to receive the education or training needed to find appropriate employment?
- What is each person’s earning capacity?
If you are going through divorce, it may be beneficial to consider if alimony might be a factor in your divorce. An understanding of how alimony awards are determined can help you prepare to advocate for a fair award.