Post-divorce spousal support, which is often referred to as "alimony" or "separate maintenance," can be awarded for a number of reasons. Unlike child support, there are no state requirements for spousal support awards in divorce. In general, it is intended to take into account the contributions of spouses, either male or female, who have cared for the children or supported the careers of their working spouses.
Alimony in Georgia
In Georgia, alimony is not a right, but it can be appropriate in certain situations and awarded over time or in one lump sum after a divorce settlement. In order to determine eligibility, courts consider a number of issues, including the needs, income and assets of each spouse. Alimony is generally not available in situations where both spouses worked during the marriage and can support themselves.
In cases where alimony is considered taxable income for the spouse receiving payments, alimony may also be taken as a tax deduction for the spouse making payments.
Whether you are seeking alimony in your divorce or opposing it, an experienced divorce lawyer at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor can assist you. Call our offices in Marietta at (678) 905-8492, Dunwoody at (404) 303-2190 Alpharetta (770) 308-5376, or Buckhead (678) 707-8000 to set up a consultation. Or, contact us online.
Determining Spousal Support
When determining whether alimony is to be awarded, courts look at a variety of criteria, including:
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple
- How long the marriage lasted
- The income and assets of each spouse, including retirement accounts
- The earning potential of each spouse
- How long would it take to retrain the non-working spouse
- The age of each spouse at the end of the divorce
- How well the couple treated each other
In Georgia, when alimony is awarded, it is structured in one of four ways:
Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help a non-working spouse gain job skills and train in a new field, if necessary. This type of alimony is temporary, ending at a specified time or when specific goals are met.
Permanent alimony is commonly awarded only to spouses who cannot work due to illness or disability, or spouses involved in a long term marriage. It typically continues until death or remarriage.
Lump-sum alimony provides a one-time lump sum amount, which is non-modifiable.
As attorney fees, in order to even the playing field between the spouses during the court proceedings, so that one spouse is not at an unfair advantage against the other.
Ultimately, whether alimony will be awarded in your divorce is somewhat complex. An experienced divorce attorney can evaluate your situation, consider a number of factors, and tell you whether an award is likely, and in what amount. We will make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed, strategic decision from there. If the court has already issued its decision, we can also help you understand the appeals process.
Speak With a Caring Divorce Attorney
Understand your alimony, spousal support or appeals options during an initial consultation with one of our divorce attorneys. Please call Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today at (678) 905-8492 or fill out our simple contact form. Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with evening appointments available by request. We accept all major credit cards.
With four strategically located offices in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta, we act as advocates for families throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, including clients in Atlanta, Marietta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Canton, Cumming, Dallas, Decatur, Douglasville, Duluth, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Milton, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Smyrna.