Determining Alimony Factor #7: The Condition of Both Parties

Divorce can have a lasting impact on your financial wellbeing. This can make it difficult for you to transition into a new life after you and your spouse are no longer together.

Alimony allows you to receive the support you need to meet your financial obligations and maintain your standard of living. For non-working spouses, alimony gives them the resources needed to acquire the skills that enhance their employability.

The condition of both parties is one of the factors used by family law courts to determine how much alimony a spouse will receive.

Understanding how this factor impacts the spousal support you may receive or pay will help you determine the right legal strategies for your divorce case.

How Courts Assess the Need for Alimony

In most divorces, the spouse who earns significantly less is more likely to obtain spousal support.

Alimony can be mutually agreed upon by both parties. Otherwise, courts determine how much spousal support one party will provide to the other.

Under Georgia law, family law courts can grant alimony only when it is deemed necessary. Spouses are also responsible for each other’s financial well being until the courts have granted a Divorce Decree. 

Alimony can be granted on a temporary or permanent basis. Temporary, or “rehabilitative”, alimony may be granted before the divorce has been finalized to provide the support needed to prevent any financial issues.

Permanent alimony is granted in cases where the receiving spouse is unable to enter the workforce after a divorce due to age or health conditions.

The duration of the marriage, contributions made to the marriage, existing agreements, and other factors are also considered when courts determine alimony.

Separate Estates in Alimony

The “separate estate” of an individual consists of assets and property that aren’t divisible in a divorce. Unlike “community” property, which includes assets acquired during the marriage, separate property remains with each individual spouse.

But Georgia family law courts still consider separate estates when determining alimony. Consulting with a family law attorney helps you confirm the status of the property within your estate to determine how much alimony you may receive.

You may need to gather and present documentation related to separate estate assets to demonstrate the value of your estate and obtain the alimony agreement you want.

A small separate estate can increase the likelihood that you will receive alimony. Larger estates indicate an individual’s ability to pay alimony when necessary.

Earning Capacity and Fixed Liabilities

Your ability to earn an income is a critical part of determining how much alimony you may receive. Earning capacity is considered by the courts when assessing the condition of both parties.

Alimony is based on the difference between the earning capacity of both parties. In addition to the amount of spousal support, the courts use earning capacity to determine if alimony will be rehabilitative or permanent.

Chronic health conditions, age, and other factors can influence a person’s earning capacity.

Fixed liabilities are debts and obligations that impact each party’s financial status. Outstanding debt and recurring payments play a role in how courts determine the alimony that’s provided.

Spousal support allows you to meet your debt obligations and remain current with all of your fixed liabilities.

Your family law attorney will help you demonstrate the condition of both parties to the courts so that you get the alimony agreement you want. Understanding how courts determine alimony agreements allows you to get the spousal support you deserve.