Under state law, Georgia married couples must financially support one another until a divorce becomes final. In some cases, the judge orders one spouse to pay the other either temporary or permanent alimony, often when a long-term marriage ends and/or one spouse has foregone a career to raise children.
Before filing for divorce, get the facts about how the state determines spousal support.
This type of short-term spousal support provides one spouse with the opportunity to pursue education or career training. If you or your partner stayed home to raise children, this arrangement facilitates the return to the workforce and an independent financial future.
The Georgia court may establish permanent alimony when a long-term marriage dissolves. This arrangement is most common when one spouse is unable to work because of age or disability and remains in effect until he or she dies or remarries.
Factors in alimony determination
When deciding to award permanent alimony, the court considers these aspects of the marriage:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living the couple established during the marriage
- The physical and emotional health of each party
- The financial situation and earning potential of each party
- The age of each person
- Each person’s current employment or employment prospects
- How each spouse contributed to the marriage, including nonfinancial contributions such as housekeeping, cooking, cleaning and raising children
If one person committed adultery or abandoned the other spouse, the court will not award that individual alimony. However, this misconduct does not factor into decisions about child custody, child support or property division.
Georgia may award alimony as monthly payments or a lump sum. Either party can request modification after two years if financial or marital circumstances have changed.
If your spouse supports you financially, you can request alimony in your Georgia divorce petition. The court will make a determination based on the evidence you and your attorney provide.