Alimony is an often misunderstood concept of family law. It is, however, an extremely important factor for some spouses who need additional support after a divorce. Understanding the specifics of alimony can help you if you are looking to achieve spousal support after a separation.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is support that can be awarded to one spouse at the end of a marriage. It can be awarded to both men and women, although the common misconception is that only women are awarded alimony. Alimony may or may not endure for the remainder of a person’s life, and it can be terminated under certain circumstances. Alimony can be awarded in smaller sums to be paid out every so often, or else it can be awarded to paid in one lump sum. The length of the marriage is not the determinative factor in the decision of whether or not alimony will be awarded. It is, however, one of the many factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not there will be alimony, how much alimony will be awarded, and the duration of the alimony.
The relevant Georgia law states that the following factors shall be considered in the determination the amount of alimony to be awarded, if any alimony is to be awarded at all:
Review the law in its entirety here. Some states have laws that are more conducive to alimony, while others are harsher on the parties. This article discusses some of the differences.
There are many factors to be considered by the court in the decision to award alimony. In making that decision, the court will hear evidence from each party. During that stage of the proceedings, it can be especially helpful to have an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
In addition, alimony can only follow a divorce. If there was an annulment of the marriage, alimony cannot be awarded. Furthermore, alimony is distinct from child support and will be treated differently by the court for many reasons, including for tax purposes.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a divorce, contacting a family law attorney can be an important first step in protecting your rights and interests. An experienced attorney at Edwards & Associates can make all the difference. Our office may be able to help you with any or all of your family law issues.