One spouse may 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. And because Georgia does not require alimony be paid, the court may not even order it. The laws surrounding alimony are complex. If you are getting divorced, work with Gwinnett County spousal support lawyer David Ward to ensure you pay or receive a fair sum.
What determines the amount of alimony I pay or receive? Gwinnett County spousal support lawyer, David J. Ward explains…
The court will consider a number of factors when determining whether to order alimony, in what amount, and for what duration. Some factors that determine alimony amounts include—but are not limited to—the following:
- The standard of living of the couple during the marriage (a lifestyle analysis can help determine this).
- How long the marriage lasted.
- The physical and emotional state of each spouse.
- Access to financial resources of each spouse at the conclusion of the marriage.
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage.
- Each party’s liabilities and assets.
The traditional view of alimony is that a husband will pay his wife alimony following a divorce. But that is not the case. Women may pay their ex-husbands alimony as well. It depends on the circumstances of the divorce and the factors above.
How long do alimony payments last?
Some judges may order temporary alimony that one spouse pays the other during the divorce proceedings. If awarded after the divorce is final (permanent alimony), it too may have an expiration.
A judge may order alimony only for a certain period of time so the spouse who receives it has financial support while finding employment or getting the necessary credentials to improve employment prospects. In other cases, such as if one spouse is in poor health, the alimony may be more long-term or even might be truly permanent.
Much depends on the circumstances of the case, which is why it is so important to secure the services of an attorney at the Ward Law Firm in Gwinnett County who can help you protect your rights.
Are there any cases where a spouse is ineligible for alimony?
Yes. Georgia Code O.C.G.A. 19-6-1(b) states that a spouse is not eligible to receive alimony if he or she committed adultery or deserted the other spouse, and if that is the reason for the divorce. The court will consider evidence of adultery or desertion in deciding whether to preclude either spouse from receiving spousal support. So if this applies to your case, make sure you work with a divorce attorney who can help you build your case or fight unjust allegations of wrongdoing.
Can an alimony order be modified?
Alimony payments, like child support, can be modified under certain circumstances. Generally, if you are requesting a modification, you must present valid evidence that justifies the modification.
How do I enforce alimony payments?
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 garnished to make the alimony payments. Those in need of help enforcing an alimony order can speak with an attorney about local resources available to help enforce the order.
Speak with Gwinnett County spousal support lawyer David J. Ward today
There is no substitute for the experience and guidance of a divorce attorney if you are dealing with issues like alimony. The Ward Law Firm in Gwinnett County offers a no obligation REAL Case Analysis and will give you an honest and objective assessment of your case. We will help you through each step of the divorce process and help you arrive at an alimony agreement that is fair to you. Call us at 770-383-1973 or fill out our online contact form to set up your REAL Case Analysis.