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Spousal Alimony in Georgia: How it Works and How it is Calculated

Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance with either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to balance any unfair economic outcomes caused by a divorce, for example, when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income after the divorce but has never held a job.

How is the alimony amount determined?

Unlike child support which is mandated according to very specific monetary guidelines, Georgia courts have wide discretion deciding whether to award spousal support or not, and, if so, how much and for how long.

Generally courts consider different factors in making decisions about alimony verdicts such as: age, physical condition, emotional state, financial condition of the former spouses, the length of time the recipient would need for education or training to become self-sufficient, the couple’s standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the ability of the paying spouse to support the recipient and still support himself or herself.

Georgia Courts recognize both “temporary” and “permanent” alimony, as well as lump sum payments in some instances, but it’s important to understand what these terms entail.

Permanent alimony.

This type may be awarded for older (retired, for instance) individuals or those who otherwise have poor employment prospects. Even when ordered, permanent alimony may be revisited in the event the recipient remarries or is able to earn a sufficient income.

Temporary alimony.

Meanwhile, this type may be awarded during the divorce proceedings and is subject to modification upon finalization of the divorce. Georgia courts also award temporary alimony after divorce. This is the most common form of  in Georgia, ordered for a specific period of time as a way of helping the recipient spouse remain solvent while they seek job training or some kind of financial stability.

If you have questions about whether you are entitled to alimony or if you are going to have to pay alimony to your spouse, an experienced family law attorney can answer your questions and give you a realistic expectation on what a Georgia Court would require. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call (770) 422-4241 or email