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Alimony in a Georgia Divorce

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In Georgia, a judge may order one spouse to pay alimony to the other spouse on a temporary or permanent basis. The court has great discretion and uses a range of factors in deciding how much alimony to award. A Georgia family lawyer can review your situation and advise you about your alimony rights.

Under what circumstances can a Georgia court award alimony?

Alimony is generally paid periodically and can be awarded in case of divorce, voluntary separation, agreement between the parties or desertion of one of the spouses by the other. A Georgia judge may order one of the spouses to pay alimony on a temporary or permanent basis.

The court examines the needs of the parties and their respective ability to pay spousal support. If one party proves by clear and convincing evidence that adultery or desertion of the other party caused the divorce, that party is not required to pay alimony.

Elements considered in the determination of Georgia alimony awards

A judge has great discretion and considers several factors in determining the amount of alimony payments such as:

  • The standard of living of the couple during their marriage and the duration of the marriage
  • The age, physical and emotional conditions of both parties
  • The contributions both spouses made to the marriage (which may include home-making and care of children)
  • The financial position of both parties and their future earning capacity as well as their costs
  • Anything else the court finds relevant in its determination

Termination and modification of Georgia alimony awards

In most cases, a party is required to pay alimony until a date or event specified in the award, which is often the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving spouse. A court may also order the termination or modification of alimony payments if the receiving spouse lives with another partner but are not officially married.

Under Georgia law, a court may modify its order in case of a substantial change in financial status of one or both of the former spouses, unless one or both of the former spouses specifically waived their right to modify the award.

An Athens, GA family lawyer can assist you with your spousal support case, whether you are going through a divorce or would like to modify an existing Georgia alimony award.

Michael S. Brown and Kim T. Stephens have almost four decades of combined experience in Georgia family law and draw upon this experience to make sure you reach the best possible solution in your alimony case.

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