In the state of Georgia, alimony—also known as spousal support—is a court-ordered provision of financial support from one spouse to the other following a divorce. Georgia’s alimony laws are extremely flexible, allowing judges to determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony and, if so, how much, on a case-by-case basis. A spouse who has become financially dependent on the other spouse during the marriage can file for alimony, however, filing for alimony does not guarantee an award.
Alimony in Georgia—and How Our Macon Alimony Attorneys Can Help
Alimony is often one of the more contentious aspects of a divorce. A spouse who gave up aspects of his or her own career to further that of the other may feel entitled to alimony, while on the other side, few spouses are willing to pay alimony. There are many other situations where alimony is warranted. Because the issue of alimony can be both complex and potentially antagonistic, it is important to have our experienced alimony attorneys from Alderman & Hutcherson in your corner. We are knowledgeable regarding all Georgia alimony laws and will work hard during your divorce for an equitable solution to the question of alimony.
How is Alimony Determined in the State of Georgia?
It is true that alimony can be a very touchy subject during a divorce. One spouse may feel (rightfully so, in many cases) that he or she is entitled to receive alimony, while the other spouse may feel resentment (also, rightfully so, in some instances) about the prospect of paying alimony.
In situations where the income, estate, and/or potential earning power of one spouse is substantially less than that of the other spouse to a degree that would significantly hinder that spouse’s ability to have the same standard of living as during the marriage, then alimony may be a consideration. There are a number of factors a judge will take into consideration regarding alimony payments. These factors include:
- Whether the spouse requesting alimony will be receiving child support or other monetary benefits after the divorce will be considered in a request for alimony.
- How the marital assets are split may have bearing on whether one spouse is awarded alimony. You can learn more about high-assets divorce, here.
- Whether the spouse requesting alimony has separate assets from the marital assets can be a consideration regarding amount of alimony awarded.
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage will be taken into consideration by the judge when considering alimony.
- In the state of Georgia, a judge can consider marital fault when considering alimony. That means if your divorce was filed based on fault—infidelity, adultery, drug use, abuse, etc., the at-fault party could be required to pay “punitive” alimony.
- How long the couple has been married will be a factor in the determination of alimony, with long-term marriages more likely to qualify a spouse for alimony.
- The physical and emotional health of each spouse, along with their age is a determining factor in the award of alimony.
- How long it will take the spouse who forwent employment opportunities during the marriage and is requesting alimony to acquire training for employment is a consideration, particularly if a spouse gave up his or her own career in favor of the other spouse’s career or care of spouse’s family.
As you can see, many different factors can influence the award of alimony, as well as the amount and the duration. The amount of alimony awarded is up to the judge, however, having an Alderman & Hutcherson attorney in your corner during the proceedings can have a significant impact on the final decision. Our alimony attorneys are highly skilled legal advocates who can help you deal with the issue of alimony as well as all other issues related to your divorce.
How Long Do I Have to Pay Alimony?
One of the most often asked questions regarding Georgia alimony is how long the payments will continue. The length of the alimony award is usually tied to the length of the marriage. As a “rule of thumb” (but not set in law), some judges use the standard of one year of alimony paid for every three years of marriage. Permanent alimony in the state is usually reserved for a spouse who is unable to find a job and support himself or herself as a result of advanced age, disability, or inability to adequately train for a job. If the spouse receiving alimony remarries, the alimony may be discontinued, and upon the death of either spouse, alimony will end.
Because there are no hard and fast rules regarding alimony in the state of Georgia, it is especially important that have an experienced Alderman & Hutcherson alimony attorney working for your future. We will do our best to ensure there are no surprises, expenses, issues, or concerns arising from your alimony proceedings. Our goal is to get you through the process with the least amount of frustration, working toward an equitable outcome.
Can Alimony Be Modified in the State of Georgia?
In cases where the situation of the receiving spouse has dramatically improved, the paying spouse may petition the court to modify (or end) the amount of alimony. So, if the receiving spouse received a large inheritance or won the lottery, the paying spouse could ask for the alimony payments to be reduced or ended, as the receiving spouse could no longer claim financial hardship. Likewise, if the financial situation of the paying spouse has dramatically worsened, he or she can ask to have the amount of alimony reduced due to chronic financial hardship.
If the paying spouse were to lose his or her job or perhaps retire with only Social Security as a means of financial support, then a case could be made for financial hardship, regardless of the financial situation of the receiving spouse. If you believe a modification of alimony is warranted, speak our knowledgeable Alderman & Hutcherson alimony attorneys who can answer your questions, and guide you through the alimony modification process.
How Can the Alderman & Hutcherson Alimony Attorneys in Macon Help?
As noted, the subject of alimony can be a complex one, full of emotions. Having a solid legal advocate in your corner to guide you through the process can truly make a huge difference in the outcome. The Alderman & Hutcherson team has had great success in Macon alimony proceedings, as well as in all issues related to divorce and other family issues. To receive the alimony assistance and protection you need and deserve during this difficult time, contact an Alderman & Hutcherson alimony attorney from Macon today!