The term “alimony” is derived from the Latin infinitive “to nourish,” meaning to supply the necessities of life.
That is the quick definition of Alimony, an order for a former spouse to maintain the necessities of life for their former spouse.
Determination of Alimony
Determination of alimony in a divorce situation is based upon several factors, most importantly being division of income between spouses and living expenses during and after the transition period into separate lives.
Duration and terms of alimony payments must also be decided upon during the divorce proceedings and can be for the period such proceedings or extend beyond and can be paid out in either a lump sum or payment format.
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Who Pays and how the amount is it determined?
Generally, when alimony is ordered or agreed upon, the higher earning spouse makes periodic (usually monthly) payments to the lower earning spouse. The payments from the “monied” spouse to the “non-monied spouse” can occur both during and after the divorce.
In order to obtain an award of alimony, a recipient spouse must generally prove that they truly need the financial support from their partner and show that their spouse can pay a specific amount as alimony. When determining the appropriate amount of spousal support, the court will take other factors into consideration too, such as:
- The spouse’ standard of living
- The length of marriage
- The financial resources and earning capacity of each spouse
- The age and physical wellness of each spouse
- How long it will take the supported spouse to get back on their feet if they are currently unemployed
- 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
- The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties
- Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper
Here’s what you need to know about alimony in Georgia:
- Who Gets Alimony? In Georgia, alimony is awarded based on the particular financial needs of either spouse, and also on the projected capability of each spouse to earn income. Although alimony is typically thought of as applying only to women, it isn’t based on gender, so if the husband has demonstrated financial need and can’t earn income, there’s a possibility for him to be awarded alimony in Georgia.
- Is it Permanent? Georgia law separates alimony into temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony is sometimes awarded in GA during the divorce process to provide financial stability to the spouse that is dependent on the other. Permanent alimony is usually incorporated into the final divorce decree, and how it is paid out, whether lump sum, periodically, or a combination of both is established at this time.
- How much are the Payments? A variety of factors go into determining alimony payments in GA. Some of the top considerations include the standard of living each spouse had during marriage, how long the marriage lasted, the physical and emotional condition of each spouse, other financial resources the parties might have, and more.
- When Do Payments Stop? In Georgia, alimony typically ends if the spouse receiving alimony remarries or passes away.
- Can the Payments Be Increased or Decreased? Once the terms of Alimony are established, there can be modification them should either party show a change in circumstances, positive or negative in nature.
Alimony is a payment from one former spouse to the other to help maintain their lifestyle as it would be if the couple was still married.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.