Alimony/Maintenance/Spousal Support in a Georgia Divorce
Alimony is payment made by one party to the other after the divorce, either by court order or by mutual agreement. This type of post-divorce payment is also sometimes referred to as maintenance. Until 1980, there were no provisions under Georgia law for alimony. The Divorce Code of 1980 provides that the court may allow alimony to either party "only if it finds that alimony is necessary."
Under Georgia law, married people are financially responsible for each other - the husband has a duty to support his wife, and the wife has a duty to support her husband. This duty lasts until the final Decree in Divorce is granted. It doesn't stop simply because the couple separates.
Alimony in Georgia is authorized in limited situations and is not the broad remedy that it is in other states. Alimony in Georgia is either "rehabilitative" or "permanent". Alimony is money for support paid to a spouse by the other spouse. Alimony can be for a short or long period of time. Usually alimony is granted by the court only when a long term marriage ends. The other party must be able to pay alimony of the court is to award alimony to the other party. Alimony may also be grant short-term before a final divorce decree is awarded.
Rehabilitative alimony is intended to be a short-term measure which enables a spouse to get back on his or her feet. Alimony is awarded to enable the other spouse to go back to school or to acquire needed skills that would enable the spouse to be competitive in the job market. Usually a spouse who has chosen the role of becoming a homemaker and raising children has not been able to develop the skills necessary for productive and gainful employment.
"Permanent alimony" continues for a long period of time, possibly until the death of the party receiving the alimony and is usually awarded when one of the parties is unable to work due to age physical or mental illness.
If the court determines that a spouse is eligible for alimony, the following factors are then considered in the award:
Georgia Annotated Statutes: 19-6-5.
(a) The finder of fact may grant permanent alimony to either party, either from the corpus of the estate or otherwise. The following shall be considered in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded:
(1) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(2) The duration of the marriage;
(3) The age and the 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 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.
(b) All obligations for permanent alimony, however created, the time for performance of which has not arrived, shall terminate upon remarriage of the party to whom the obligations are owed unless otherwise provided.