Alimony or spousal support is not as common under Georgia law as it was in the past. However, spousal support can be an issue in a Georgia divorce when one spouse earns much more than the other, or when one spouse has limited earning capacity based on his or her circumstances. The court has a great deal of discretion to determine whether a spouse will receive alimony from the other spouse following the divorce. This means that, essentially, the issue is up to the court to decide if the parties cannot reach an agreement on the issue. The court also will decide on the amount of spousal maintenance awarded, which is based, at least in part, on the following factors:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The age and physical and emotional condition of both parties
- The financial resources of each party
- The time necessary for a party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him/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
Rehabilitative alimony refers to a temporary award of alimony that continues only for a fixed period of time following the divorce. This time period is usually given to the spouse receiving the alimony in order to find a job, get education that will allow him or her to get a job, or to take other steps to become self-supporting.
In some cases, however, Georgia spousal support is awarded that goes beyond rehabilitative alimony. At the court’s discretion, alimony can be awarded for a much longer period of time, or even permanently. In most cases, spouses who receive permanent alimony are older and have been married for a significant amount of time. It is important to remember that if the spouse who receives the alimony ever remarries, the obligation of his or her ex-spouse to continue paying alimony stops.
A claim for alimony can also be creative, in the proper court. As an example, in one case I handled, my client made significantly more than his wife, but his wife was still self-supporting. She filed for divorce two weeks after my client paid her last tuition bill for graduate school. We thought this rather unfair on her part and we asked that she pay alimony to my client, despite my client making more money than she, as compensation for some of those tuition payments that my client would no longer receive any investment return from his investment in her.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.