Sunday, March 2, 2008

Do I have to pay alimony?

The short answer is: “It depends.”

Georgia law provides that alimony, or spousal support, may be awarded to one spouse in the event of a divorce or separation. At times, spousal support is awarded on a temporary basis before the divorce is final. Alimony may be paid to either a husband or a wife. Georgia law provides 8 factors which the court determine alimony.

1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
2. The duration of the marriage;
3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
4. The financial resources of each party;
5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;
6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
7. The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
8. Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

Alimony may not be awarded to a requesting spouse if the separation between the parties was caused by that party's adultery or desertion. There are also other, variable factors that will influence a judge’s decision to award alimony. Some of these factors are within the client’s control such as:

  • A party’s behavior during trial;
  • A party’s willingness to be open and honest in disclosing financial information
  • The age of the children of the marriage, if any
  • Both parties’ employment status / prospects

Georgia Code §19-6-1 & §19-6-5

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