Alimony, also known as spousal support, is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Courts can order one spouse to make payments to the other temporarily while the divorce proceedings are in progress, or they may require payments to continue on long after the divorce is finalized.
Whether you are the one seeking alimony or you want to limit your liability for alimony payments, it is crucial to understand your rights and the factors that go into alimony decisions. When you work with an experienced alimony lawyer at Tessie D. Edwards & Associates, your legal advocate can ensure that the court is aware of all factors weighing in your favor so you can achieve your objectives.
Temporary Alimony in Georgia
Generally, issues involving temporary and permanent alimony are handled separately by the court. When deciding whether to award temporary alimony under Ga. Code §19-6-3, the court considers the condition of parties during the divorce process and the needs created by the divorce proceedings, including legal expenses. Your divorce lawyer could present evidence to show why the added expenses of your living situation during separation affect your need for or ability to pay alimony.
A judge has the task of determining if the spouse requesting alimony is financially dependent on the other spouse and if the paying spouse has the ability to pay the temporary support requested. Temporary alimony payments are designed to continue until the final judgement is rendered in the case. However, an order of temporary alimony is subject to revision at any time.
It is important to remember that just because a judge orders temporary alimony during the divorce proceedings, that may have no bearing whatsoever on a decision about whether to order one spouse to pay alimony to the other after the divorce becomes final.
Permanent (long term) Alimony in Georgia
Courts may award permanent or long-term alimony payments in cases of separation or divorce. In most cases, what is referred to in the statutes as permanent alimony is only ordered for a limited period. For instance, if one spouse worked full-time while the other focused their time at home, the court might order alimony payments for a certain period to give the at-home spouse the opportunity to acquire additional education or training for employment.
However, if health issues or advanced age make it difficult for one spouse to support themselves, then the court could order alimony payments that continue on a permanent basis. An attorney experienced in alimony negotiations could help a couple reach an agreement on a plan that meets both their needs. In most cases, alimony obligations cease if the spouse receiving payments remarries.
Factors that Affect the Amount of Alimony
Ga Code §19-6-4 lists the factors the courts are expected to consider when deciding whether to award alimony and the amount and duration of alimony payments. These include:
- The partners’ standard of living during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- The physical and emotional condition of each partner, as well as their age
- Each party’s financial resources
- The time needed to acquire employment training
- Contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, child rearing, and educational and career support to the other spouse
- Each party’s earning capacity, separate property, and fixed obligations
In addition, the court can consider any other issues found to be relevant, equitable, and proper.
Work with an Experienced Alimony Lawyer in Atlanta to Protect Your Rights
Alimony payments can have a tremendous impact on your daily life. To give yourself the best opportunity to move forward during and after the divorce, it is important for alimony decisions to be based on a fair assessment of your situation.
When you work with a dedicated alimony attorney at Tessie D. Edwards & Associates, P.C., we will use every available strategy to achieve your goals and obtain a support plan to meet your needs. Call us for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we could assist in your case.