Alimony is a term used for financial support or payments to a divorced or separated spouse. It is also called spousal support. You can request alimony or spousal support in a divorce proceeding. There is no equation in Georgia for when or how much alimony should be awarded, but is usually only awarded when there is a significant difference between the parties’ income level.
There are several types of alimony, and the court can award alimony in a variety of ways. Rehabilitative alimony awards one spouse alimony payments for a short time period so that they can obtain education or become able to obtain employment to be able to sustain themselves financially. Lump-sum alimony is a large payment of support that is awarded at the time of the order either instead of or in addition to monthly payments. Periodic alimony consists of payments for a designated time period. Permanent alimony consists of continual payments for an indefinite period of time until one spouse dies or until the receiver remarries. Permanent alimony is rarely awarded in Georgia.
The court considers a number of factors when determining the amount and duration of alimony payment:
- The career of the recipient prior to marriage and after marriage;
- Marriage duration;
- The recipient’s education during the marital period;
- The recipient’s ability to support themselves;
- Whether the recipient gave up career options for the sake of children;
- The recipient’s property award;
- The difference in earnings between the two spouses at present and the potential future earning difference(s); and
- The payer’s ability to pay.
The following applies to alimony payments:
- Must be in cash, paid to the ex-spouse/spouse;
- Must be awarded in a written separation agreement or a support decree;
- Cannot be termed as child support or related to when the child turns 18; and
- Must end in the death of the payee.
The court has wide discretion in addressing the requirements of alimony. Our lawyers have an understanding that the two most important factors the Court focuses on are the need of one partner and the ability or capacity of the other partner to pay.
Whether you are requesting alimony or being asked to pay, we will provide you with the best possible practical advice to help you plan for life after divorce. For a consult, please call us at 404-480-2701.