Does Adultery Affect Alimony?

In the State of Georgia, alimony can be affected by adultery, but as with so many other things related to divorce law, it’s complicated. If you are facing a divorce issue related to alimony and adultery, it’s time to consult with an experienced Georgia family law attorney.

The Denial of Alimony

If the adultery of a spouse who is entitled to alimony causes the marriage in question to fail, that spouse can be legally relieved of that entitlement. That spouse’s adultery, however, must be proven to the court via a preponderance of the evidence. Adultery only denies one’s ability to receive alimony if said adultery directly leads to the couple’s divorce – as such, your divorce must be filed on the grounds of adultery (and awarded on these fault-based grounds, rather than on the more common grounds of irreconcilable differences). For the purposes of the law in this decision-making process, adultery means having sexual intercourse with a person other than one’s spouse. Other varieties of intimate relationships that may be considered adulterous outside the court don’t rise to the legal level necessary to bar alimony in a divorce case.

Alimony in Georgia

Alimony in Georgia is a payment made monthly (either temporarily or permanently) by one ex-spouse who has the financial means to do so to the other ex-spouse who experiences a financial need post-divorce. Once the court determines that alimony is in order, it takes a wide range of factors into consideration in determining both the amount and duration of the payments, including (as applicable):

  • Your standard of living during your marriage
  • The duration of your marriage
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s ages and physical condition
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s individual financial resources
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s individual abilities to earn
  • How long it will likely take the spouse who isn’t working to return to work
  • You and your divorcing spouse’s individual contributions (financial and otherwise) to your marriage

In Georgia, there is no predetermined calculation method for assigning alimony. Instead, the determination of alimony proceeds on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Factors

There are some important additional factors to take into consideration regarding alimony and adultery, including:

  • If the spouse who committed adultery was forgiven by his or her spouse, and the couple continues to live together as a married couple, the adulterous spouse will not be barred from receiving alimony.
  • While adultery generally doesn’t affect custody issues, it can affect the division of your marital property. This is especially pertinent if the spouse who committed adultery spent considerable resources on the adulterous affair in question.

Reach Out to an Experienced Cumming Family Law Attorney Today

If your divorce involves adultery, the Forsyth County family law attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland are standing by to help. Fault-based divorces are more complicated, but our dedicated legal team has considerable experience guiding these cases toward their most favorable resolutions. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 for more information today.