Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is money paid to a spouse to help support him or her financially. Alimony can be temporary (paid during the divorce process), or permanent (after the divorce is granted). Additionally, alimony can be paid in one lump sum in lieu of property division.
When is alimony awarded in Georgia?
Alimony is awarded to either spouse according to the following factors:
- Needs of the spouse requesting alimony, and
- Ability of the other spouse to pay.
However, alimony is not authorized when it can be shown the separation was caused by adultery or desertion. Adultery is not a bar in every instance, but only when adultery has been shown to be the cause of the separation between the parties. Any sexual relations outside of the marriage may constitute adultery.
How is alimony calculated in Georgia?
The main controlling factors in determining the amount of permanent alimony are the needs of the spouse requesting alimony and the other spouse’s ability to pay. However, courts will also consider the other factors listed below:
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Age, physical and emotion condition of both parties
- Financial resources of each party
- The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him/her to find appropriate employment
- Contribution of each party to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party
- Condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity and fixed liability of the parties
- Any other relevant factors the court deems equitable and proper.
When can I stop paying alimony?
Generally, unperformed obligations for permanent alimony to a spouse shall cease if that spouse remarries or as otherwise stated in the divorce decree.