How is a Spouse’s Alimony Determined?

Alimony doesn’t play a role in every divorce. If, however, one spouse will experience a financial struggle upon divorce and the other spouse has the financial means to help mitigate this disadvantage, the court is likely to order alimony. In the State of Georgia, the court has considerable discretion in the matter of alimony, and it takes wide-ranging factors into consideration in its decision-making process. If you have questions or concerns regarding alimony and divorce, seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced Forsyth County alimony attorney.

Alimony Can Be Temporary or Permanent

The court may award temporary alimony while your divorce is pending. If you and your divorcing spouse are already living separately, the court may be moved to award alimony in the interim to the spouse with fewer resources at his or her availability – to help pay for daily living and for the divorce itself. This is considered temporary alimony, and it does not guarantee that the recipient will receive alimony post-divorce.

Permanent alimony is a rare type of alimony awarded post-divorce. Generally, the court will only award permanent alimony in situations involving both a long-term marriage and a spouse who is unable to gain the skills, experience, or education needed to find gainful employment. This might be due to age, health conditions, disabilities, or other factors that prevent the spouse from working.

Pertinent Factors

Those factors that the court will take into careful consideration when determining whether alimony will be awarded – and if so, in what amount and for what duration – include:

  • The standard of living you enjoyed as a married couple
  • The length of your marriage (generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely alimony becomes)
  • You and your spouse’s separate financial resources (including separate property and separate debt)
  • You and your spouse’s individual earning capacities
  • You and your spouse’s individual ages, physical health, and mental health
  • You and your spouse’s separate contributions to the marriage, which can include providing childcare, taking care of the home, and/or helping the other spouse build his or her career
  • The amount of time it would take for you or your divorcing spouse (whoever will be the recipient of alimony) to obtain the training, education, or skills necessary to find adequate employment
  • Any other factor deemed relevant to equitable alimony by the court

Ultimately, the court may also consider whether a spouse’s marital misconduct contributed to the dissolution of the marriage. In fact, a spouse who may otherwise be eligible for alimony could find himself or herself with reduced alimony payments or could even be denied alimony outright as a result of marital misconduct.

Reach out to an Experienced Cumming Alimony Attorney Today

The Forsyth County family law attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland have a wealth of experience helping clients like you successfully address their alimony concerns and obtain terms that support their best interests moving forward. We’re here to help you, too, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 770-887-1209 for more information today.