What Is Spousal Support or Alimony?
The purpose of alimony is to alleviate unfair financial hardship that could affect a lower-wage-earning spouse after divorce. Unlike child support, spousal maintenance is not mandatory (Georgia Code § 19-6-1). Spousal support is often awarded to a spouse who sacrificed a career and salary to care for the children and the home.
Training & Education for Self-Sufficiency
Spousal support prevents financial hardship on the spouse with a lower earning capacity. Alimony can cover their expenses if they go back to school to complete their degree or obtain the training needed to find a job.
Georgia spousal support guidelines also apply to LGBTQ marriages.
Types of Alimony in Georgia
Depending on the circumstances, spousal support could mean receiving (or paying):
- Rehabilitative Alimony – Monthly financial support while an individual receives training or education to become self-sufficient; may last several months or several years.
- Lump-sum Alimony – The recipient gets a single payment instead of monthly allocations.
- Permanent Alimony – Typically reserved for spouses in a long-term marriage, who have stayed home to raise children and support the income-earning spouse.
Support Is Not Based on Gender
Male spouses or partners can receive alimony, too, under a 1979 Supreme Court ruling. Traditionally, alimony applied more frequently to women since they were typically the ones who stayed home and sacrificed their careers and earning potential. However, your right to pursue alimony is no longer based on gender.
How Alimony Gets Calculated in Georgia
Georgia does not have a set formula for calculating spousal support. Couples are encouraged to work out spousal support agreements themselves. When divorce mediation doesn’t solve the issue, the Court can and will rule on alimony after considering:
- The number of years married
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s current income, future earning potential, and employability
- Each spouse’s education or training
- Distribution of marital assets and debt
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions
- The tax burden (if any) of alimony on each spouse
Providing Spousal Support & Protection
As spousal support attorneys in Marietta, GA, we are well aware that significant economic disparity often falls on the spouse who sacrificed their career and earnings while also acting as the primary child custodian.
We will explain your rights and protect them from aggressive opposing counsel or an embittered ex.
Property & Asset Division
Georgia is an equitable distribution state when dividing marital assets. The Court considers financial and non-financial contributions made by both parties. It is possible to supplement or replace monthly alimony by seeking an equivalent asset, such as the house.
It does not matter if a house, car, boat, or retirement account is only in one spouse’s name. You’ve contributed, and now you deserve your fair share, whether in the workforce or as a stay-at-home parent.
Learn More About Marital Property
Adultery & Alimony in Georgia
Georgia is a no-fault divorce state, but adultery is one of thirteen factors considered in a divorce (Georgia Code § 19-5-3). Although rarely enforced, the Court could deny alimony to a cheating spouse if the allegations of adultery are proven.
However, adultery does not affect spousal support if the non-cheating spouse forgives or condones the behavior or if the marriage does not dissolve because of the affair.
Child Support Is Separate from Alimony
Child support is a court-ordered payment to care for a minor child (under age 18) and their food, clothing, housing, and other necessary expenses. The parent with primary physical custody receives child support and could also get alimony.
We use every legal instrument to enforce spousal and child support payments as agreed.
Our Marietta Spousal Support Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
If you are considering divorce as the primary wage-earner or the lower-earning spouse, you deserve to know the legal, financial, and tax implications of spousal support and be compensated appropriately for your contributions and support.
You should be able to move on from an unhappy marriage without fear of financial insecurity. The Gentry Law Firm helps you achieve your post-divorce goals with customized strategies for negotiating and enforcing spousal support payments.
Our legal team keeps your interests & needs at the center of our work:
- Seek Appropriate Spousal Support Amounts
- Ensure Support Meets Current & Future Needs
- Divide Marital Assets Fairly
- Enforce Support Plans and Modify When Necessary
- Consult with Financial Professionals
- Negotiate Favorable Support, Custody, & Settlement Terms