Alimony is a payment made from one spouse to another after divorce. Historically, alimony was paid by a husband to his ex-wife who had worked in the home during their marriage. Today, alimony is still used to help balance the economic effects of divorce by requiring the higher-wage-earner to financially support the lower-wage-earner after divorce.
A court can award either temporary or permanent alimony. However, not all divorces result in alimony payments, and when a court does award alimony, the amount it awards can vary significantly. Because every situation is unique, it can be beneficial to understand the factors that Georgia courts often consider when making decisions about alimony.
What courts consider when making decisions about alimony
If a court is considering if it should award you alimony, it will generally weigh your need for alimony versus your spouse’s ability to pay alimony. A court may also consider how you and your spouse act toward each other.
When determining how much alimony to award, the court can consider any relevant factor, but some common considerations include:
- What the standard of living was during your marriage
- How long your marriage lasted
- Each spouse’s age, physical condition and emotional condition
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- How long it would take for you to gain education or training to find appropriate employment
- What each spouse contributed to the marriage
- Each spouse’s separate estate, earning capacity and fixed liabilities
A court may refuse your petition for alimony if your separate property has a much greater value than your spouse’s separate property. A court may also deny your petition for alimony if your actions caused the need for divorce, such as actions of adultery or desertion.
You do not have to be a housewife to be awarded alimony. However, Georgia courts must consider numerous factors before making any alimony award. Understanding the factors a court could consider can help you better fight for the alimony award you deserve.