HOW ALIMONY IS CALCULATED IN GEORGIA
At first appearance, the divorce process, particularly when it comes to alimony, can be very perplexing. While the spouses are living apart, alimony is a court-ordered payment made by one spouse to the other for support and maintenance.
Normally in a divorce proceeding, one spouse will be ordered by the court to make monthly payments to the other for a set period of time. Alimony payments recognize that one spouse has a limited or non-existent earning capacity and may require financial support and maintenance for a specific period of time.
When determining alimony following a divorce, a court analyses a variety of variables and may or may not find it necessary. The calculations are made by examining both parties’ needs and financial ability to pay, then selecting what is best for the circumstance. Continue reading this article to understand how alimony is calculated in the state of Georgia.
TYPES OF ALIMONY
Divorce in Georgia might take up to a year, depending on the local legislation and the intricacy of each case. In Georgia, a family court might order either temporary or permanent alimony. A spouse who requires financial support during the divorce process is granted temporary alimony. Temporary alimony could be quite helpful in supporting the financially dependent spouse at this time.
Temporary alimony is paid to one spouse while the divorce is finalized by the court. However, a spousal support order does not ensure spousal support beyond the divorce. After the divorce decree is issued, the judge will consider whether or not permanent alimony should be awarded. If that is the case, the judge will issue a fresh order that will take effect when the divorce is finalized.
Even though its name suggests otherwise, permanent alimony is not generally granted for an indefinite amount of time. Alimony is usually granted to spouses who require financial assistance in order to get education or vocational skills that will help them find work. This eventually helps them to become self-sufficient. Long-term alimony is reserved in Georgia for spouses who are unable to find work and support themselves owing to age or a severe ailment.
CALCULATION OF ALIMONY
There were no alimony provisions in Georgia law until the Divorce Code of 1980 was enacted. Instead, this statute states that a judge may award alimony to either husband. This will only happen if a judge determines that alimony is required. In Georgia, there is no formula or calculation for calculating alimony. To establish whether alimony is appropriate, the court will consider the parties’ income and the length of the marriage. The court will assess the “needs” of the receiving party against the “capacity to pay” of the paying party to determine how much alimony a spouse will pay every month.
While this may appear unclear in theory, in practice, the court weighs both parties’ evidence and testimony when calculating alimony based on the seven elements. The court determines the amount of alimony by comparing the seven variables below with the facts of each case.
The following are some of the elements that the court examines while calculating alimony:
- Living conditions
- The marriage’s duration
- The amount of time it takes to find work
- Contribution to the relationship
- Physical and emotional conditions of each party
- The financial circumstances of each party
- The financial resources of each party
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Alimony payments are usually made on a regular basis. This implies they are paid on a weekly or monthly basis and will continue to be paid until the court directs them to cease. Spousal support can also be paid to the other spouse in the form of a one-time lump-sum payment.
A family court would also evaluate if the marriage was ended due to marital wrongdoing. The court has the authority to reduce or deny alimony to a spouse who would otherwise be entitled to it. This frequently occurs when the court determines that one of the spouses committed adultery or deserted the other. In addition, the court may mandate lifelong alimony for the victim of marital misconduct.