When one party requests alimony in a divorce, Georgia courts use a series of factors to determine whether it is needed, and, if so, how much should be awarded.
Most Georgia divorces are resolved out of court, so judges don’t have to make these decisions in those cases, but knowing the factors courts use can people know what to expect.
Alimony can be temporary or permanent and is based on a consideration of factors including:
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage
- The amount of time the marriage lasted
- The spouses’ ages and their physical and emotional conditions
- The assets and income of the parties
Courts also consider the contribution of each spouse to the marriage. For instance, did one spouse contribute more in terms of cleaning, maintenance of the home and raising the children?
In some cases, courts consider the amount of time one spouse might need to finish receiving the education or training they need to find adequate employment.
Because the list of factors is not exhaustive, the family law court takes into account factors it considers necessary to make a fair decision related to alimony.
Alimony may end upon remarriage of the recipient spouse or the death of the paying spouse. While alimony is often temporary, with the goal of tiding a disadvantaged party over until they can become financially independent, in some cases alimony awards are permanent.
Alimony tends to be controversial. Many people resent having to pay money to an ex-spouse. However, alimony can be crucial to the livelihood of many people. Whether it is ordered by the court or agreed upon by the parties, alimony can be an important way of ensuring that a divorce meets state guidelines of fairness.