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Factors Georgia courts consider when assessing alimony requests

For better or worse, money is at the root of all or most of the disputes that arise during a divorce. This can be especially true when the financial stakes are higher than normal. For instance, if you and your soon-to-be ex accumulated significant assets prior to or during marriage, it is likely that many of your discussions will revolve around financial settlements.

Alimony, or spousal support, is one common topic of discussion in high-asset divorces. In Georgia, alimony can be granted on a permanent or temporary basis, though it is not awarded in every case. In order to assess whether one person is entitled to alimony, Georgia family courts will consider a number of factors.

  • Characteristics of the marriage: This includes the length of your marriage, the standard of living enjoyed during the union and contributions to the marriage made by each spouse, financial and otherwise.
  • Characteristics of the spouses: Judges will look at your (and your spouse's) age, emotional condition, physical well-being and professional background.
  • Financial resources: Alimony is intended to support a financially disadvantaged spouse in the wake of a divorce. As such, the courts will assess each person's earning capacity, the cost of career training or education for a person re-entering the workforce, the availability of external economic resources and the length of time alimony may be necessary.

It should be noted that spousal support is not ordered as a penalty to one spouse, nor is it reserved for only those who have significant assets. It is in place to address the needs of a disadvantaged spouse based on the ability of the financially-advantage spouse.

It is true that this financial discrepancy may be greater for affluent couples than it is for other couples. This could be because of one person's existing wealth prior to a marriage or situations in which one spouse was able to stop working outside the home. In either case, a divorce could be financially devastating to the person without individual assets and income.

If you have questions about your eligibility to receive alimony or your potential obligation to pay alimony, it can be crucial that you discuss your options with your attorney.

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