As defined in Georgia law, alimony is “an allowance out of one party’s estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately. It is either temporary or permanent.” Georgia courts don’t make an alimony award in every divorce as a matter of course. First, one party has to request and prove they need it and that the other party can pay it. The party being asked to pay might oppose the idea, setting up an adversarial hearing in court.
The family law attorneys at The Gleklen Law Firm have decades of experience negotiating, litigating and resolving alimony disputes in Metro Atlanta. If you are seeking alimony in your Georgia divorce, or if you are being asked to pay, The Gleklen Law Firm can help you get a result that meets your needs. Learn more about alimony below, and call The Gleklen Law Firm for help with alimony in your divorce.
How Georgia Courts Decide Alimony Issues
As noted above, alimony can be either temporary or permanent. Typically, when the court does grant alimony, it is only awarded for a temporary period to help the former spouse transition to the single life, establish a separate household, and obtain necessary education or job training to become self-sufficient. Courts are only likely to grant alimony on a permanent basis after a long marriage or if the recipient is impaired or otherwise not able to enter the workforce.
The Georgia statutes on alimony set out a list of factors for the judge to consider in deciding whether to grant alimony and if so, how much and for how long. Our firm can help by developing the evidence around every factor and arguing a case to the judge that advances your interests in the alimony decision. Factors for the court to consider are:
- 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 or her 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
- Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper
Fault in the Divorce Can Impact Alimony
Although Georgia retains many “fault-based” grounds for divorce, the majority of divorces these days are based on the “no-fault” ground that the marriage is irretrievably broken. It is therefore not necessary to prove marital misconduct to get a no-fault divorce. However, a spouse’s misconduct during the marriage can impact the issue of alimony. Georgia law is clear that parties who cause the divorce due to their adultery or desertion are not entitled to alimony. If alimony is sought in a divorce case, the court will demand to receive evidence of what caused the breakdown of the marriage, even in a no-fault divorce. In addition to the factors listed above, the court will also consider evidence of the conduct of each party toward the other when deciding whether or not to grant alimony.
These matters must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence from the party seeking to establish that alimony should or should not be awarded. The Gleklen Law Firm can help you gather the relevant evidence needed and present it in a compelling way that will satisfy the court.
Experienced and Dedicated Help With Alimony Matters in a Divorce
Courts have been trending away from alimony in recent years, so if you think you’ll need financial assistance after a divorce, be sure to get strong representation from a skilled and knowledgeable alimony divorce lawyer. Or if you are being asked to pay and think the request is unfair or unnecessary, you’ll need a capable attorney in your corner to argue your case.
For help dealing with alimony or other issues in your divorce, call The Gleklen Law Firm at 678-236-0444, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.