When a couple in Gainesville divorces, one spouse may be at a significant financial disadvantage compared to the other spouse. For example, during the marriage one spouse may have earned significantly less than the other spouse or may have stayed out of the workforce altogether to care for the family. To help equalize the situation between the divorcing spouses the higher-earning spouse may be required to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, to the lesser-earning spouse.
When is a spouse entitled to alimony?
A spouse may be awarded alimony if it can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the parties’ separation was not due to adultery or desertion, regardless of the grounds upon which the divorce was sought. Alimony will be awarded in alignment with each spouse’s needs and ability to pay. Each spouse’s conduct may be considered when determining alimony.
What factors will Georgia courts consider when determining alimony?
Georgia courts will consider several factors when determining how much to award in alimony, if appropriate. The court will consider the standard of living the spouses enjoyed while married as well as how long the marriage lasted. Each spouse’s age and health will be considered as will each spouse’s financial resources. How long it may take for either spouse to obtain the education or training needed to obtain an acceptable job will be considered. Each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage will be considered, including homemaking services. Each spouse’s separate property, earning capacity and fixed liabilities will be considered. Finally, courts will consider any other factors relevant to the spouses’ specific situation.
Alimony should be fair to both spouses
It is essential that any award of alimony is fair to both spouses. The paying spouse should not be overburdened by alimony payments while the receiving spouse should receive enough to put them on appropriate financial footing post-divorce. The topic of alimony can be a tricky one and one that each spouse may feel very emotional about. It is important to keep a clear head and seek help during your divorce proceedings so that the final result is fair and appropriate.