If you’re going through or about to go through a divorce in Georgia, you may be wondering ‘How much is alimony in GA?’ The short answer is: there’s no set formula used to calculate alimony – instead, the courts look at the needs of the asking spouse and the ability to pay of the other spouse.
As such, alimony, often referred to as spousal support, varies significantly in Georgia, depending on numerous factors.
The court considers each case individually, taking into account the financial circumstances of both parties, the length of the marriage, and the needs of the spouse seeking support.
Let’s take a closer look at alimony in Georgia.
Temporary Alimony Georgia
Temporary alimony in Georgia is designed to provide financial support during the divorce process.
It aims to maintain the status quo of the financially dependent spouse until a final decision is made.
The amount depends on the specific financial needs of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
Just because you get an award of temporary alimony in your divorce case, does not mean that you are guaranteed permanent or long-term alimony after the case is concluded.
You will need to make a separate request to the court for long-term alimony, and the court will look at all the factors involved to make its decision.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Georgia
In Georgia, not everyone qualifies for alimony.
Eligibility primarily depends on the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
The court also considers factors like the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, and the physical and emotional condition of each spouse.
Additionally, the court can also look at your earning potential as well.
For example, if you were a stay at home parent by choice during the marriage, but you have a master’s degree, the fact that once you are able to re-join the workforce at a potentially high income level will factor in to if or how much or how long you receive alimony.
Length of Marriage for Alimony in Georgia
The length of the marriage plays a crucial role in determining alimony in Georgia.
Generally, long-term marriages (those over ten years) are more likely to result in alimony awards.
However, there’s no strict rule, and short-term marriages may also result in alimony if there’s a significant disparity in the spouses’ incomes, and the spouses were used to a certain standard of living.
Examples of Alimony in Georgia
Let’s consider an example where one spouse has been a homemaker for most of the marriage while the other has been the primary breadwinner.
In such a case, the court might award alimony to the homemaker spouse to help them maintain a lifestyle close to what they had during the marriage.
Types of Alimony Provisions in Georgia
Next, let’s look at the different types of example provisions of alimony in Georgia.
One is called a rehabilitative alimony case.
This is a type of alimony designed to provide support for a specific period until the recipient spouse becomes self-sufficient. For instance, one spouse might receive $2,000 per month for five years to allow them time to gain necessary skills or qualifications to reenter the workforce post-divorce.
Another example is a lump-sum alimony payment.
This is a fixed amount that is usually paid all at once rather than in monthly installments. For example, a court may order “the sum of $500 per month as alimony…for a total of 60 months and a total payment of $30,000.”
Lastly, in some cases, the example of permanent alimony may be awarded, but this is extremely rare in Georgia. This means that there is no cap or time limit on how long the paying spouse pays the receiving spouse.
Typically, the longer the marriage, the longer the duration of the alimony payments.
However, it’s important to note that most alimony in Georgia is rehabilitative or lump sum, aimed at supporting the lower-earning spouse until they can become financially independent.
How to Avoid Paying Alimony in Georgia
Avoiding alimony payments in Georgia can be challenging.
However, if you can prove that your spouse doesn’t need financial support or if you can demonstrate that they were at fault for the divorce due to actions like adultery, you may be able to avoid paying alimony.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the court to decide whether or not you pay alimony to your former spouse.
Alimony in Georgia for Adultery
In Georgia, adultery can significantly impact alimony.
If one spouse can prove that the other spouse’s adultery caused the separation, the adulterous spouse may be barred from receiving alimony.
If you have this sort of scenario, make sure you contact a local family law attorney to consult with about your case.
Alimony and Child Support in Georgia
Alimony and child support are separate obligations in Georgia.
While alimony supports the spouse, child support is designed to assist with the costs of raising a child.
The court calculates them separately, considering various factors including the income of both parents and the needs of the child.
Understanding how much alimony is in GA requires considering various factors unique to each case.
We always recommend that you consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney near you to understand how these factors may apply to your situation.
And if you’re in the North Metro Atlanta area, give us a call at Your Law Firm to discuss – we’re happy to help.