Establishing Alimony During and at the Close of Your Divorce Case
When a marriage ends, the transition can be difficult in many ways. Financially, one spouse may be left with less resources than before, leading to struggles in getting by. That's why in Georgia, the court system has the potential to award alimony both during and at the close of divorce cases. This is meant to ensure that both parties can maintain a reasonable standard of living as they find their footing after the end of marriage. While it may not be a perfect solution, it can certainly provide some relief during a time that is emotionally and financially challenging.
What Is Alimony?
In Georgia, alimony, or spousal support, is defined as payments made by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. It is designed to help support the lower-income spouse and ensure an equitable distribution of income in a marriage. To receive alimony in Georgia, a spouse must prove financial need, while the other spouse must be able to pay. Factors considered in a court's decision include the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of both spouses, and the contributions each spouse made to the marriage. If you are seeking alimony, it is important to provide evidence of your financial situation and contributions to the marriage. On the other hand, if you are defending against alimony, you must be able to demonstrate that the other spouse does not have a financial need or that you are unable to pay. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to navigate the complexities of alimony in Georgia.
Alimony During Your Case - Temporary Alimony
The process of going through a divorce case can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. In Georgia, either party has the option to apply for temporary alimony during this time, which can provide some financial support while the case is still pending. At the hearing, the judge will take into consideration the circumstances of both parties and the fact of the marriage. The judge is also supposed to look at any special necessities for each party as a result of the ongoing case, along with any evidence of a separate (non-marital) estate owned by either party. This could include inheritance money or property purchased and owned prior to the marriage. And, if the separate estate of the party asking for temporary alimony is sizable when compared to the other party's estate, the court is allowed to refuse awarding temporary alimony.
Based on this evidence, an order will be either granted allowing for temporary alimony, including expenses of litigation, or the request will be denied. If an order is granted, it can be modified at any time by the court, and it can be enforced by a motion for contempt. It's important to understand that the amount granted will depend on the facts of the case and the condition of the parties. If you are considering applying for temporary alimony, it may be helpful to consult with a professional to understand your options and ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.
Alimony After Your Case is Finalized - Permanent Alimony
After a divorce case is finalized in Georgia, permanent alimony may be awarded to one of the prior spouses by the other, for their ongoing financial support and needs, as determined by the court. However, it is important to note that most of the time in our state, alimony will not continue on forever. The court will typically put a time period of a certain number of years on the award of alimony. Additionally, if the receiving party chooses to remarry, the alimony will terminate early, unless the parties have previously agreed for it to continue.
In order to establish permanent alimony, the court looks certain factors. These are laid out in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) Section 19-6-5, and include:
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
- The financial resources of each party;
- Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
- The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
- Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.
It is always recommended to seek the advice of a professional when navigating the complexities of divorce and alimony. Remember, permanent alimony is not always permanent, and the court will take many factors into consideration when making its decision. It's always best to be extra prepared with evidence to support your case for or against an award of permanent alimony.
How We Can Help
Going through a divorce can be challenging and emotional. We understand how overwhelming it can be to navigate the legal process while also dealing with the personal upheaval of a separation. That's why we're here to support you every step of the way. At Your Law Firm, we are committed to helping clients establish temporary or permanent alimony during a divorce case where spousal support is requested. Our legal team will work diligently to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation for your needs. Whether you are seeking temporary support while your case is ongoing or looking for a permanent support after your case is completed, we will be by your side to guide you through the process. Let us take some of the stress off your shoulders and help you move forward towards a better tomorrow.