Alimony is an important part of the divorce process, yet it remains highly misunderstood. If you’re going through the Georgia divorce process, chances are that you’re considering alimony payments. Post-divorce spousal support will affect the lives of both parties involved and while it’s not a right in Georgia, alimony may be awarded by court in specific situations.
What You Need to Know about Alimony in Georgia
To determine if alimony will be awarded at all, the Georgia family court will go through multiple considerations. Some of the most important ones include:
- The income and standard of living of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s earning potential
- Age/wellness of spouses
- The contribution of each party to the marriage (help for the career establishment of the other party, child care, home maintenance, etc.)
These factors, as well as other circumstances, are outlined in Georgia Code 19-6-5. Based on this statute, the court will examine the primary factors, as well as other specifics pertaining to the marriage, that could impact the estate or lifestyle of the spouses post-divorce.
Out of all misconceptions about alimony, a few tend to be much more common than others. There’s a belief that alimony cannot be awarded to men or that it is awarded for a lifetime. Both of these aren’t true. The recipient spouse is generally the one that requires financial support and that will be incapable of managing on their own after the divorce.
In Georgia, several types of alimony are available. If a court decides to award one of them, the choice will be between:
- Temporary: As the name indicates, the spousal support is designed to help a non-working spouse to get back on their feet over a certain period of time.
- Permanent: Whenever one of the spouses cannot support themselves financially (due to permanent disability, for example), a permanent alimony will be awarded.
- Lump-sum: Also called alimony in gross, this one is a single payment of alimony.
- Rehabilitative: If one of the spouses doesn’t have sufficient qualification to find gainful employment, rehabilitative alimony will be provided. This type of spousal support is needed while training is taking place or additional qualifications are acquired.
The Alimony Negotiation Process
The process of negotiating alimony with an ex-partner can be lengthy and filled with conflict. This is why both parties involved should look for an experienced legal representative who will aim to obtain the best outcome on the basis of the specific circumstances.
A court may decide to award alimony under specific circumstances. These include voluntary separation, divorce, or a spouse being deserted. If the two parties agree to spousal support in other situations, the court will also start the necessary proceedings.
On occasions, couples do agree to alimony payments for the purpose of experiencing beneficial taxation effects. Alimony payments are taxable by the recipient, which means that the payer gets a tax deduction. Whenever a lump sum alimony payment is made, it’s viewed as property distribution. In that instance, there is no taxation or deduction.
If the two parties cannot agree on the amount that will be given or received, the decision will be made by the court magistrates. Alimony can typically be modified in the future but still, getting a fair agreement right from the start is essential.
Get Assistance Today
Do you need spousal support to return to normal life after a divorce? Have you received an alimony request from your ex-spouse that’s not justified? Consulting an experienced legal professional under such circumstances will be of paramount importance.
The Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell will be there to guide you through the process, answer your questions and ensure a fair outcome of the alimony proceedings. Please do not hesitate to call us at (770) 479-0248 to schedule your free initial consultation.