divorce attorney in GA, alimony in georgia
Divorce, Family Law

How is Alimony Calculated in Georgia?

Divorce is never easy and comes with it a multitude of factors to consider throughout divorce proceedings. One of the many facets of divorce is whether or not alimony will be granted. There’s not a standard alimony calculator for Georgia– and, oftentimes, those calculations can be misleading. Rather, alimony in GA is determined with a two-step process. 

What is Alimony?

Alimony, in simplest terms, is a financial arrangement established during divorce proceedings. Also known as spousal support or maintenance, it is intended to provide support to a financially dependent spouse. For example, one spouse is often the “stay-at-home” parent for a certain amount of time after married couples have children. This spouse would be the “receiving party” if it was determined that they were in need of financial assistance or support. It is, however, different from child support and often does not last as long. The amount and duration of alimony payments are calculated from various factors. 

How is Alimony in Georgia Calculated?

First of all, the court will look at the “needs” of the receiving party and evaluate the paying party’s “ability to pay.” After this analysis is completed, the court will have a general idea of whether or not alimony is warranted and whether there’s a legitimate need for alimony. 

Next, the court, according to Georgia law, will consider the Eight Alimony Factor to determine the monthly payment in order to ensure it is fair and equitable for both the paying and receiving parties. The following factors can influence the amount and duration of payments:

  1. Length of the marriage: The duration of the marriage is a crucial element in determining alimony. Short-term marriages generally result in a lower amount, whereas longer marriages often yield higher payments. That makes sense, right?
  2. Earning potential and income: Next, the court will examine the income and earning potential of both parties, taking into consideration each spouse’s current income, potential future income, and, overall, employability. This factors in the education, skills, work history, and health of each party as it relates to their ability to work. 
  3. Financial resources: Evaluating the financial assets and resources of both parties is the next step. These resources include property division; marital assets, investments, and debts; liabilities;  and income of each individual.
  4. Standard of living: Maintaining a certain lifestyle is a factor as well. Whatever standard of living was established during the duration of the marriage is considered. Courts typically aim to ensure that the financially dependent spouse can maintain the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.
  5. Health and age of parties: Age is a determining factor as well. If one party is of advanced age and unable to work or another has health issues, particularly that inhibit one party to work, those situations are considered as well. 
  6. Contributions to the marriage: The court will also evaluate how each party contributed to the marriage be they financial contributions like income and investment or non-financial contributions such as child-rearing and homemaking. 
  7. Conduct during the marriage: While the state of Georgia is a “no-fault” divorce state, adultery and conduct of both spouses during the marriage may affect financial matters and alimony as well, especially if it can be proven that infidelity was the cause of the divorce. 
  8. Child custody arrangements:  Lastly, if there are children involved in the divorce proceedings, the court takes into consideration the custody arrangement and the custodial parent’s financial obligations. Child support may impact alimony, but, again, the two are separate financial arrangements. 

While there is no set calculation for alimony, the court will consider all of the factors mentioned above which allows for flexibility and the court to consider the unique circumstances surrounding each and every case in Georgia. The court has the discretion in determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, which may result in temporary alimony or permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony (support for a specified period to allow for the dependent spouse to obtain financial independence and become self-supporting), or a lump-sum (one-time) payment. 

Divorce Attorney in Georgia

If you’re in need of assistance during your divorce settlement, are entitled to alimony, or simply need a divorce attorney in Georgia, look no further than Phillips-Sellers Law Firm. We are well-versed in the financial implications of divorce and can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to alimony in Georgia. 

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