8 Key Factors to Consider When Seeking Alimony in Georgia
It’s no secret that when a marriage falls apart, the financial ramifications of this “parting of the ways” races through both parties’ minds. Everything from who makes more money to alimony to child support comes in to play. Thus, when considering alimony in Georgia, there are eight key factors that must considered in order to determine the amount of alimony, if any, that should be awarded. O.C.G.A. §19-6-5(a). At Buckhead Family Law, we understand these factors are crucial elements for both sides, and everyone needs to be fully aware of the criteria that the court system measures the martial parameters against when they are considering whether or not to award alimony.
8 Key Factors Considered for Awarding Alimony
It’s important to note that either party in a marriage can elect to request alimony during a divorce. However, the court is going to examine the relationship from both sides, and in order to award alimony, they must determine that one party requires financial support and that the other spouse has the ability to pay that support.
When considering alimony in Georgia, if a need for alimony support exists and the ability to make payments is there, the judge will then move forward into considering other factors when drafting a final alimony award. In particular, there are eight different factors that judges look at.
According to Georgia Law, the 8 factors considered when awarding alimony include:
- The Couple’s Marital Standard of Living
- The Length of the Marriage
- The Age, Physical, And Emotional Health of Each Spouse
- Both Spouse’s Financial Resources
- The Time Necessary for The Supported Spouse to Gain Sufficient Training to Find Appropriate Employment
- Each Spouse’s Contributions to The Marriage, Including Childcare, Education, And Career Building
- The Financial Conditions of Each Spouse, Including Separate Property, Earning Capacity, And Separate Debts
- Any Other Factor the Court Deems Equitable. (O.C.G.A. § 19-6-5)
Of course, Georgia courts also have the option to examine other aspects and factors of the divorce, including what contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. The ultimate decision lies in the hands of the judge, who has the ability to trim or fully deny alimony payments for a party who qualifies but caused the marriage to dissolve by deserting their spouse, participating in infidelity, causing physical harm, or other specific scenarios. The court may also award alimony to the victim of marital misconduct. (O.C.G.A § 19-6-4 (2018)
Unfortunately, when it comes to awarding alimony in Georgia, there is no magical formula that the courts use to calculate these payments, so you can only get a general idea of what you will be paying or receiving. If there is a genuine need for alimony, the judge can weigh each of the eight factors listed above to accurately decide (1) whether or not an alimony award is necessary and (2) the form of alimony, length of time, and monetary value of the final alimony award.
It’s important to realize that while alimony is helpful to one party, the majority of alimony payments do not last forever. Payments can be set up on a recurring weekly or monthly basis, or a lump sum can sometimes be awarded depending on means. However, these payments are usually set up for a short duration of time to help the other spouse restart his or her life and move forward. Obviously, there are some considerations to make as each party moves on with their life and as tax laws continually change.
How Georgia Alimony Lawyers Can Help You
If you are trying to determine whether or not you can expect to receive or pay alimony in Georgia, this is an extremely difficult feat to do on your own. There are so many different factors that go into this type of divorce ruling, and it can be hard to predict what a judge will see as pertinent and what they will ultimately decide. Because of this, it’s essential to have someone by your side to help you weigh each of the above factors and help you determine your best legal options.
At Buckhead Family Law, our experienced legal team can help you better understand the alimony process and predict what you can expect to pay or receive in alimony. We are here to answer any questions that you may have and help you as you move your life forward. Schedule a consultation today by calling at 404-600-1403.