Divorce is not an easy process, but when it’s over, many people expect that their obligations to the other spouse will end as well. Depending on the circumstances, this may not be true. In some situations, one spouse may be required to pay the other one alimony for a period of time after the divorce.
Alimony payments from one spouse to another are intended to help ensure that both spouses are able to meet their monthly obligations after the marriage ends, but alimony will not be paid in every divorce. Also, the amount one may pay and how long they may be ordered to pay alimony varies from divorce to divorce.
Factors used when making alimony awards
When courts decide whether to order alimony, they base their analysis on a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The lifestyle the couple enjoyed during the marriage while living together
- How long they were married
- The financial resources available to each spouse
- Their work history and earning capacity
- The age, health and abilities of the spouses
- The contributions each spouse made during the marriage which does include the contributions of a spouse for child care and maintaining the home
- The amount of time a spouse needs to gain the education or experience needed to have gainful employment
As stated above, alimony will not be ordered in every divorce in Georgia. It is generally ordered in situations where one spouse earns significantly more than the other or if one spouse stayed home to care for the children and did not work. Alimony awards are very fact-specific determinations based on the unique circumstances of the marriage and the financial circumstances of each spouse. Due to the fact-specific nature of the decisions, these can be complicated decisions and it is wise to consult with experienced attorneys.