Hi, I'm Dave Ward from The Ward Law Firm. In Georgia, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other alimony, also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance if the partners divorce. An order for alimony may be either temporary or permanent, and the amount hinges on several factors. Because Georgia does not require alimony to be paid, the court may not even order it. The laws surrounding alimony are complex. However, there is a list of some factors that a court must take into account. These factors will assist the court when determining whether to order alimony, in what amount, and for what duration.
Some of the factors that determine alimony amounts include, but aren't limited to, the following.
The standard of living that the couple has enjoyed during the marriage; in other words, a lifestyle analysis can help this sort of thing, how long the marriage has lasted, the physical and emotional state of each of the parties, the access to financial resources of the spouse who's to be paying it as well as the need of the other to be receiving it, each party's contribution to the marriage, and of course, the division of assets and liabilities.
The traditional view of alimony is that the husband will pay it to the wife. However, that's not really the case any more. Women may be ordered to pay the husbands alimony depending on the circumstances and facts that apply in that particular case.
Some judges may order temporary alimony that one spouse pays to the other during the divorce proceedings. If that is awarded after the divorce is final, in other words permanent alimony, it may too have an expiration. A judge may order alimony only for a certain period of time so one spouse receiving it can get back on their feet, find a job, and get back to where they would have been but for the marriage. In other cases, such as where one spouse is in poor health, the judge may order that to be more permanent.
It's also important to know that the cause of the divorce can have an impact on alimony. Alimony payments, like child support, can be modified under certain circumstances. Generally, if you're requesting a modification, you must present valid evidence that justifies the modification.
The court may enforce an alimony order by holding the spouse who does not make payments in contempt of court. The court may even order that party's wages to be garnished and to make alimony payments in that fashion. Those in need of help in enforcing alimony can seek an order of the court with the assistance of an attorney.
If you're considering divorce and you have questions about alimony, please contact my office at the number below. I'm Dave Ward from the Ward Law Firm, and I protect business owners facing divorce.