Family law courts must make decisions that impact marriage assets, child custody, and alimony among many others. The ability to make these decisions depends on a wide range of factors related to the marriage and each spouse.
Alimony is something that courts determine and grant based on the needs and abilities of both parties. But alimony isn’t guaranteed, and understanding the factors that used to determine alimony will help you achieve the financial support you need.
Alimony in Georgia Family Law Courts
Every case is unique, making it difficult for you to guess how much alimony you may be awarded or required to pay.
In addition to the need of one spouse to receive alimony, the courts must also consider the other party’s ability to pay spousal support.
Once the courts determine if alimony will be granted, it will need to determine the amount that will be provided. The following are some of the factors that are used during this process:
- Standard of living
- Financial assets and resources
- Duration of the marriage
- Health and age of both parties
- Contributions made to the marriage
Adultery, domestic violence, and other acts may prevent the spouse who committed them to be denied alimony.
Outstanding debts, your ability to secure future employment or gain the skills that enhance your employability are also important factors that are assessed by the courts.
It’s important to understand that court judges can exercise discretion when making alimony decisions. Working with an expert family law attorney can help you provide the evidence courts need to make a fair decision.
Other Relevant Factors
One of the primary factors used in alimony decisions is described as “other relevant factors” deemed equitable and proper by the courts.
Georgia law includes this as a general category that addresses issues that may not fall under any of the other factors used to determine alimony.
This is the basis for the court’s discretion in making decisions on spousal support. It gives you more opportunities to argue your case for alimony in divorce.
As long as the courts deem an issue “proper and equitable”, then it can be used in their decision. Other relevant factors can include both financial and non-financial aspects of the marriage.
How to Protect Your Financial Future After Divorce
Alimony allows the recipient to get the financial resources needed to maintain their quality of life and establish a secure financial future.
Spousal support makes it possible for parents to provide for their children and acquire the skills that help them rejoin the workforce.
There are different types of alimony that courts can award. Temporary and permanent alimony provide different levels of support depending on the circumstances of each case.
Temporary alimony offers short-term support that can help one party cover legal costs and other expenses during the divorce proceedings. It typically ends once the divorce is finalized.
Rehabilitative alimony allows the recipient to regain a level of self-sufficiency that makes the transition easier after the divorce.
Permanent alimony establishes no set time period for which alimony will be provided. A court judge may also order one party to make a single lump-sum alimony payment in certain cases.
Modifications can be made to alimony agreements as the need arises. But you’ll need to consult with a family law attorney to secure the support you need and make any changes in the future.
Knowing how courts make decisions on alimony is the first step in reaching the divorce agreement that protects your personal and financial interests.
Having the legal protection you need makes the process easier and increases the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome in your divorce.