Metro Atlanta Alimony Attorney

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Alimony (Spousal Support) in Georgia Divorce

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not awarded as often today as it was in the past. But it still comes into play when there is a significant income gap between divorcing spouses, or when one spouse faces limited job prospects because of age, infirmity or too few employable skills.

Who can receive alimony?

In Georgia, individuals can be awarded alimony in the following situations:
(1) In cases of divorce;
(2) In cases of voluntary separation; or
(3) Where one spouse, against the will of that spouse, is abandoned or driven off by the other spouse.

How Is Alimony Determined?

Alimony is authorized by O.C.G.A. 19-6-1, which grants Georgia courts considerable discretion in determining whether to award alimony. While there is no formula Georgia courts use to determine alimony, there are certain statutory criteria the courts will take into consideration when determining the amount of alimony to award:

(1) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(2) The duration of the marriage;
(3) The age and physical and emotional condition of both parties;
(4) The financial resources of each party;
(5) Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him/her to find appropriate employment;
(6) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education and career building of the other party;
(7) The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
(8) Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

In determining whether alimony is appropriate in your case, I will sit down and review your case history and financial data to determine how each of the above factors apply. I am always careful to cautious clients, however, that modern alimony awards are usually made on a temporary basis, not on a lifetime basis. Most alimony awards are designed to support the recipient spouse during and/or following the divorce to enable the spouse to litigate the case on an even playing field and seek employment or complete necessary education. A more common term for this is “rehabilitative alimony”, as the purpose of the alimony is to financially rehabilitate a spouse and give him or her a chance to become self-supporting.

Occasionally, however, courts go beyond awarding rehabilitative alimony and award more extensive alimony. This usually occurs when the recipient spouse will not be able to start a new career or become financially independent. In such cases, alimony can be awarded for much longer periods of time; courts can even award permanent alimony. Cases like this usually involve older people and long-term marriages. In such cases, if the spouse receiving alimony remarries, the alimony obligation of the paying spouse will be terminated.

How does Adultery Affect Alimony?

Adultery can have a significant impact on an alimony claim. If a party’s adulterous behavior is the actual cause of a divorce, then that spouse is not entitled to any award of alimony at all. However, it would need to be shown that the adulterous behavior was indeed an actual cause of separation. If a spouse commits adultery that is subsequently forgiven or otherwise condoned by the other spouse, then the adulterous spouse may not be automatically precluded from receiving alimony.

Defending an Alimony Claim

Defending against an alimony claim is somewhat the reverse of trying to obtain alimony. In defending against an alimony claim, I will work with you to prepare and present a meticulous case as to why alimony should not be granted or why it should be minimized. However, it would be wishful thinking and foolhardy to ignore the fact that, in certain cases, some alimony will need to be paid. So our goal is always to minimize the amount of alimony that may be awarded, with the ultimate aim being to defeat the alimony claim altogether.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta Alimony Attorney

A case involving alimony will usually be contentious, so preparation to support or oppose the alimony claim should start early. I have successfully argued alimony cases on both sides of the issue and am standing by to help with your matter today. If you have any additional questions about your rights in regard to alimony, please do not hesitate to contact Crowe Legal, PC at 404-618-0863 today.

I offer a free case evaluation by telephone (with me, not with a staff member) to all potential clients. Office consultations are also available by appointment weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with weekend appointments available by request.

My office advocates for families and individuals throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, including Fulton, Gwinnett, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Hall, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale counties.