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In this video, Lawrenceville Divorce Attorney David Ward answers, What Determines the Amount of Alimony You Pay or Receive?


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. And because Georgia does not require alimony be paid, the court may not even order it. The laws surrounding alimony are complex. However, he does list some factors courts must take into account. 

These factors will assist the court 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.

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.

It is also important to know that the cause of the divorce can have on alimony.

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.

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.

If you are considering divorce and have questions about alimony ...

Whether your divorce involves asset and debt division, financial support, or child custody, the mental and emotional toll can be overwhelming. Having a complete and honest assessment of what to expect throughout the divorce process substantially reduces the doubt and uncertainty that many people experience. Gwinnett County divorce attorney David Ward has the experience to know that even the most complex issues have solutions, and he fights to ensure that your best interests remain the focus.

It is vital to pursue legal matters carefully and consciously with an experienced family lawyer like David Ward who will guide and keep you informed as your case progresses. Unlike most divorce lawyers in Gwinnett County, David Ward has a strong background in finance and accounting. He uses his deep understanding of finances to tackle complex situations regarding property and asset division.

We know that there are few situations in life that are more difficult than divorce. The decisions you make early on in your case may affect you and your children’s lives well into the future. We understand the difficulties you are now facing and we want you to know that we are here to help. In fact, our Lawrenceville law firm has been helping folks just like you work through their divorces and family law issues for over a decade. Contact a divorce attorney Lawrenceville or a Gwinnett County family law attorney today at 770-383-1973 to schedule your REAL Case Analysis.

NOTICE: You are not a client of this law firm and we do not represent you unless you have a signed attorney/client agreement with this law firm. No duties or privileged relationships are intended to be created by this communication where they do not otherwise exist.

The Ward Law Firm
3235 Satellite Boulevard
Building 400; Suite 300
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30096