Georgia Divorce – Alimony


In Georgia, a spouse may be ordered to pay alimony as a part of a divorce.  Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is money paid by one spouse to another in order to provide financial support to the spouse in need.  Simply put, it is based one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay.  It is not intended to punish the spouse who is ordered to pay the alimony.  With that said, in determining whether alimony should be granted, the court can consider the reasons for the divorce.  However, just because a one spouse committed adultery, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have to pay alimony.

In determining the amount of alimony to be paid, the court considers a number of factors, including:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. The duration of the marriage;
  3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  4. The financial resources of each party;
  5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;
  6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
  7. The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
  8. Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

What’s the difference between permanent and temporary alimony?

Permanent alimony is awarded as a part of a final divorce decree, and it is permanent.  In other words, the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony has to make payments until the spouse receiving payments dies.  Temporary alimony, on the other hand, is only awarded for a particular amount of time.  Usually this is done in order to allow the non-paying spouse the ability to get back on his/her feet, or while the divorce action is pending.  It is far more common for temporary alimony to be awarded than permanent alimony.

What are lump sum and periodic alimony payments?

A court can order a spouse to pay alimony either in one lump sum or in periodic payments.  A lump sum payment is a one time ordeal.  Once it is paid, it is never paid again.  Periodic payments, however, are required to be paid monthly, every other month, every other week, every week, etc.  However, as noted above, if the alimony is permanent, then that means the payments have to be made for the rest of that person’s life.  One exception does apply, however.  If the person receiving periodic alimony gets remarried, then the spouse paying alimony can request that the alimony be terminated.

Need Help?

Needless to say, a divorce can be a daunting process, and it’s okay to Ask for Help.  If you are in the midst of a divorce or are just considering the idea, don’t hesitate to call (912) 525-0555 to schedule your initial consultation. Brad Dixon offers one hour consultations for $100, and if our office is retained to handle your case, that money is applied towards the balance of your next bill, such that your evaluation is free. 

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