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Alimony in Georgia

Many of our clients who are facing divorce in Georgia want to know if they are entitled to alimony in their Georgia divorce case. People always ask how much alimony should they get, and for how long. The answer is difficult to determine in all cases, as alimony is awarded at the discretion of the Judge in each case.

What is Alimony?

Alimony is defined by O.C.G.A. 19-6-1(a) as the allowance out of one party’s estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately. It is either temporary or permanent. Alimony is not required to be paid in every case. It is awarded primarily based upon the needs of the party and the other party’s ability to pay as codified in O.C.G.A. 19-6-1 (c).

Permanent alimony is a final award of alimony that is ordered at a final hearing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it lasts forever, so the word “permanent” can be misleading. In almost every case involving alimony a time duration is specified, and alimony terminates upon the death or remarriage of the recipient. Alimony also terminates if the recipient is cohabitating with someone with whom they are engaged in a meretricious relationship. If one of these events occurs, and the time duration ordered for the alimony isn’t up yet, the alimony is terminated.

How Is Alimony Granted?

The Judge or a jury is authorized to grant alimony to either party and the following factors are to be considered in determining the amount of alimony:

  1. Standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. Duration of the marriage;
  3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  4. The financial resources of each party;
  5. The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment;
  6. 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;
  7. The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
  8. Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

If someone has a disability that prevents them from working, this can be a factor in determining alimony. The length of the marriage is often examined closely, as marriages that have lasted for less than 3 years rarely qualify for any alimony, unless other extreme factors exist.

Bivek Brubaker & Prescott

Every Judge is different in how much alimony they award given a particular fact pattern, so it’s important to speak to an attorney who is familiar with the Judges in the county where your divorce will be heard. At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott our knowledge of alimony and the Judge’s tendencies in the Superior Courts of Cobb, Fulton, Paulding, Cherokee, Dekalb, and Gwinnett is extensive. Call us today!