Divorce comes with plenty of financial headaches. Among these is figuring out how you will make ends meet once you’re on your own. Your spouse might have been your household’s primary – or sole – earner. And you may worry you will not survive without their income. Yet, Georgia’s alimony laws can help protect you from future financial hardship.
Considerations in awarding alimony
Georgia courts do not automatically award alimony to the lower-earning spouse in a divorce. Yet, you may qualify for it based on your circumstances. When weighing whether you will receive alimony, a judge may consider:
- Your marriage’s duration
- Your marital standard of living
- You and your spouse’s contributions to your marriage
- You and your spouse’s age, physical health and emotional health
- You and your spouse’s individual financial circumstances
- Whether you need education or training to become self-supporting
Few outright bars to alimony exist in Georgia. One, though, is desertion. Your spouse may not have to provide you support if you abandoned your marriage, marital home and marital responsibilities. Furthermore, any adultery on your part could affect your eligibility for alimony. If you were unfaithful to your spouse, they will not have to provide you support. The exception to this rule is if they forgave you for your infidelity, or if your actions did not cause your marriage’s breakdown.
Different types of alimony
Depending on your circumstances, you will qualify for either temporary or permanent alimony. Your spouse will pay you temporary alimony if you need financial support during your separation. They may also provide it after your divorce while you attain education, training or employment that helps you become self-sufficient. Yet, you may be reaching retirement age. Or, you may be unable to work or have limited employment prospects. In these cases, your spouse may have to pay you permanent alimony instead. Keep in mind, though, that this arrangement refers to long-term, rather than indefinite, support in most cases.
You will likely feel frustrated while figuring out how to support yourself after your divorce. But by understanding Georgia’s alimony laws, you can begin planning for your financial future from a position of strength.