Georgia Alimony Law | Spousal Support
In Georgia, post-divorce spousal support, which is often referred to as alimony, can be awarded for a number of reasonsand to either party. Unlike child support, there are no state requirements for spousal support awards in divorce. In general, it is intended to take into account the contributions of spouses, either male or female, based on one party’s needs and the other party’s ability to pay.
In Georgia, alimony is not a right, but it can be appropriate in certain situations and awarded over time or in one lump sum after a divorce settlement. In order to determine eligibility, courts consider a number of issues, including the needs, income, and assets of each spouse.
How Does a Judge Determine Georgia Spousal Support Amounts?
When determining whether alimony is to be awarded, courts look at a variety of criteria, including:
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple
- How long the marriage lasted
- The income and assets of each spouse, including retirement accounts
- The earning potential of each spouse
- How long would it take to retrain the non-working spouse
- The age of each spouse at the end of the divorce
Types of Alimony in Georgia
Many people don’t know that alimony payments may be temporary – or permanent. Alimony in GA can be structured in a few ways:
- Temporary Alimony: May be categorized as rehabilitative alimony, designed to help a non-working spouse gain job skills and train in a new field if necessary. This form of temporary alimony ends at a specified time or when specific goals are met.
- Permanent Alimony: Typically terminates upon death or remarriage, or when the recipient has what is sometimes called a “live-in lover.”
- Lump Sum Alimony: Provides a one-time, non-modifiable lump sum amount.
- Periodic Alimony: Works best for people when they don’t pay a lump sum. Some people who receive alimony tend to prefer the “regular income” of a periodic alimony payment.
Other important GA alimony facts to consider:
- Unlike child support, no state requirements for spousal support awards in divorce exist.
- Alimony is generally not available in situations where both spouses worked during the marriage and can support themselves.
- If granted, alimony is enforceable by either an action for contempt, or by garnishment and execution on property.
- With the new tax law, alimony is no longer taxable to the recipient nor deductible to the payer.
Alimony is not guaranteed, and the process is somewhat complex. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced Atlanta divorce attorney to work on your behalf to maximize your chances of achieving your alimony goals.
Whether you are seeking alimony in your divorce or opposing it, Atlanta divorce lawyer Nancy Ghertner can assist you. Call our Atlanta family law firm to set up an appointment for a consultation. We are located in Sandy Springs at the top of the Perimeter.
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