In Georgia, the court can award alimony, also referred to as spousal support, to either party involved in a divorce. The court will take a number of factors into consideration when determining if a party will pay alimony, the amount of the alimony and how long the alimony must be paid. Georgia's laws on alimony can be found in the Official Code of Georgia, Title 19, Chapter 6, Article 1.
Georgia law defines when the court may and may not award alimony to one of the parties in a divorce. The court can, but does not have to, award alimony to one of the ex-spouses based on the needs of the ex-spouse. On the other hand, the court may not award alimony to a party when the evidence shows that the party committed adultery or deserted their spouse. Under Georgia law, the court may award alimony in three situations: divorce, voluntary separation of the spouses or to the spouse left alone after being deserted. The court may also award alimony if the parties agree to do so. For example, an ex-wife may agree to pay alimony to her ex-husband even though her ex-husband deserted her and was, therefore, barred from receiving court-ordered alimony.
Factors for Consideration
If the court has decided to award alimony payments to one of the parties, the decision was based on certain factors defined by law. For example, according to Georgia law, the court must take into consideration the standard of living of the parties during the marriage, the duration of the marriage and the financial resources of each party. Based on these factors, the court will determine a proper amount to give each party an opportunity to keep, as closely as possible, the lifestyle maintained during the marriage. Also based on the factors, the court will determine whether the alimony is to be permanent or temporary. Again, this determination will be based on the financial situation of both parties before and after the divorce.
The amount of alimony you will pay to--or receive from--your ex-spouse will be determined by the court if you cannot agree with the other party to the divorce. While alimony can be modified in the future, it is in your best interest to have an attorney on your side to ensure that your interests are properly recognized by the court. Some attorney specialize in family law and will have an understanding of the complexities of the law, and many times will be familiar with the court and judge whom is hearing your case.