If you are preparing for divorce, you likely have concerns about your finances. These fears might be especially palpable if your spouse earned most – or all – your household’s income. While you may wonder if you qualify for alimony, you might not know how and when Georgia courts award it. By understanding the factors considered, you can work to protect yourself financially during your divorce.
Types of alimony in Georgia
Two types of alimony exist in Georgia, and you may receive one or the other depending on your circumstances. In most cases, state courts award short-term alimony. Your spouse may provide it during your separation. But you may receive short-term alimony after your divorce, too, if you need time to become self-sufficient. Permanent alimony is rarer. Yet, it could be a factor in your divorce if you are near retirement, if you are disabled or if you have limited employment prospects.
Factors in Georgia alimony awards
Unless you and your spouse work out your own alimony agreement, its length and value will be determined in court. Georgia courts do not make automatic awards, so you must request alimony as part of your divorce settlement. If you do, a judge will use their discretion to decide whether you will receive it. They may consider:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Whether you have the resources to support yourself
- Whether you need job training or education to support yourself
- Whether your role as a spouse or parent has affected your earning abilities
- You and your spouse’s individual assets and liabilities
- You and your spouse’s age and health
If your marriage ended due to infidelity on your part, your actions may bar you from alimony. Yet, if your spouse forgave you for your indiscretions, your award will remain unaffected.
Making ends meet can be difficult after a divorce. But alimony can ease this challenge while you work toward self-sufficiency. A family law attorney can help you understand your options for including it in your settlement