How Does the Court Determine Who Will Get Alimony in Albany?

February 4, 2020

If you’re going through a divorce, you and your spouse will need to have some tough conversations. You’ll have to make decisions regarding property division, child support, and child custody. In addition to that, you’ll have to discuss spousal support or alimony in Albany. Alimony is an amount of money that one spouse pays to the other. Contrary to what many people believe, it isn’t usually permanent support and it isn’t only for men. Whoever is the higher earning partner would have to make the payment.

A divorcing couple can decide on the payment of alimony between themselves. However, since it’s often difficult for divorcing spouses to agree, it’s usually left to the court to make the decision. If you’re wondering about the factors which influence the judge, this article will answer your questions. Be sure to consult an experienced divorce lawyer in the Albany area for personalized advice.

How Alimony Works in Albany, Georgia

Alimony is not a part of every divorce. It is intended to ensure that neither party walks away from the marriage without the ability to manage financially. Spousal support is aimed at ensuring some fairness during and after the divorce proceedings. It is typically paid to an individual who has limited earning potential following a long-term marriage.  Naturally, they would have few means of starting over on their own. Therefore, the court can award a payment to help them get back on their feet. Notably, a spouse who committed adultery or abandoned their partner may lose the right to request alimony.

In determining who will get alimony, the court will consider:

  • The earnings of each spouse along with their assets and debts
  • The health, age and emotional state of each spouse
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage and family
  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living and lifestyle of the couple during their marriage

Unlike child support payments, there’s no set formula for calculating spousal support in Georgia. The process is therefore quite subjective and alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis. The judge weighs the needs of one spouse and the other’s ability to pay to arrive at a fair outcome. If alimony is awarded, the amount and the duration are at the judge’s discretion. To improve your chances of getting your desired outcome, you should seek advice from competent divorce lawyers in Albany, GA.

Duration of Alimony in Albany and Elsewhere in Georgia

The courts can order the payment of either temporary or permanent maintenance. Temporary maintenance is for a specified period and it is awarded while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. It is especially important if one party has no source of income and will be living alone. Divorces can take a long time to conclude, so the disadvantaged spouse would find it very difficult to make ends meet. Usually, the paying spouse has to make weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payments. The judge may order a lump sum payment, but this is rare. Most spouses won’t have the ability to hand over a large sum while going through a divorce. Temporary support ends when the divorce is finalized.

Meanwhile, permanent spousal support is something of a misnomer. While a judge may order the payment of long-term support, in most cases, it will end at some point. The paying spouse may have to support their former spouse for a third of the length of the marriage. Alternatively, they may have to make payments until the other person begins to earn an income. If the spouse paying alimony can prove they’re experiencing hardship, they may be able to modify their payments. Similarly, if the receiving spouse remarries or gets a large inheritance, the support will come to an end.

In some cases, alimony really is permanent. If one spouse is physically or mentally unable to care for themselves, they may need ongoing support. This could be due to age, illness or lack of qualifications.

Contact Joe Durham Jr., P.C. to Discuss Your Divorce

Divorce is difficult but working with a competent, compassionate divorce law firm in Albany, Georgia can make the process more bearable. Whether you want to request alimony, fight such a request or modify a support order, we can help. To obtain alimony, you will need to prove that you really need financial support. To get out of paying alimony, you will need to prove that you’re experiencing hardship or that your former spouse can support themselves. Either way, you will need an attorney to help you make a strong case. Even if you just want some preliminary advice, the Albany, GA divorce lawyers at Joe Durham Jr. P.C. will assist you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.