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Am I Entitled to Alimony in Georgia?

by Sharon Jackson  on January 28, 2021 under 

The purpose of alimony is to provide financial assistance from one party to another after a divorce based on the financial circumstances of the parties. The single biggest factor in Georgia alimony cases is whether one party has a need and whether the opposing party has the ability to pay.  The second most important factor is the length of the marriage. Courts will also consider the disparity between the parties' income, the ability of each party to earn income, and other factors such as conduct during the marriage and lifestyle.

Alimony is often a highly contentious and emotional issue for divorcing couples. But not every spouse is entitled to alimony, and the amount and length of alimony awarded is decided on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the specific circumstances of the marriage and divorce.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to another when that couple separates or divorces. Many Georgia lawyers use the term alimony interchangeably with spousal support and maintenance, but they all describe the same legal concept. If one party is seeking spousal support in a Georgia divorce, the judge will look into factors relating to the needs of the requesting spouse, the other spouse’s ability to pay, and each spouse’s conduct towards the other.

Am I Entitled to Alimony?

If the spouse who is requesting alimony committed adultery that caused the divorce, that spouse is not entitled to alimony and will be barred from receiving alimony. A Georgia judge may determine that the adultery did not cause the couple to divorce, and award alimony to the requesting spouse.

A judge will not award alimony automatically in any divorce case in Georgia. The judge will evaluate the length of the marriage and other factors to determine if one spouse is entitled to spousal support, and for how long.

How Is The Amount of Spousal Support Calculated?

Unlike child support, there is no firm calculator that courts use to determine the length or amount of alimony.  The courts look will review each parties’ finances in detail when determining how much alimony should be awarded.

There is no specific formula to calculate alimony in Georgia. A Georgia judge has the discretion to determine whether to award alimony to one spouse and the amount. In making that determination, the judge will consider many factors including:

  • the length of the marriage
  • the earning potential of each spouse
  • marital debt and financial situation
  • fault of the spouse in causing the divorce
  • the need of the receiving spouse for financial support
  • the ability of the paying spouse to provide financial support
  • health and medical condition of each spouse

How Is Alimony Paid Out?

If the court determines that you should receive alimony, the judge will also determine how the alimony will be paid out. Alimony can be paid

  • as a lump sum
  • for a specific time period
  • until the spouse receiving alimony dies or remarries

Can Alimony Be Modified?

Unless the parties reach an agreement and have the right protective language in the agreement, alimony can be modifiable. Alimony can also be modified based on various factors such as if the receiving spouse remarries or dies or cohabiting with another. If the spouse paying maintenance undergoes a change in circumstances such as loss of income or illness, the alimony order may also be subject to modification.

Do You Need Spousal Support? A Gwinnett County Divorce Attorney Protects You

A divorce and family law who understands alimony law and local case precedents can evaluate and present your case to receive alimony, or whether you are required to pay spousal support to your spouse. If you have alimony issues you should schedule a consultation with a divorce and family law attorney to discuss your circumstances and legal options as soon as possible. There are many divorce decisions regarding the division of assets, alimony, child support and other legal issues that are decided in court.

If you are in Gwinnett County or surrounding areas, call Divorce Attorney Sharon Jackson. Our office has experience in Georgia alimony law and can fight for your rights in court. Call Attorney Jackson today at (678) 436-3636 to schedule a consultation, or contact Attorney Sharon Jackson through our online form.

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