Divorce can seem like an overwhelming process filled with uncertainty as you reestablish yourself and your family following the dissolution of your marriage. In many cases, finances are a part of that uncertainty. If you are facing divorce on unequally financial footing from your spouse, you may benefit from spousal support, often called alimony.
Alimony is a court-ordered payment from the higher-earning spouse to the other to help establish financial fairness as the divorce proceeds.
There are Different Types of Alimony
There are two main types of alimony orders recognized in Georgia: temporary alimony and permanent alimony.
Judges often award temporary alimony if one spouse requires financial help during the transition from one income source to another. For instance, a judge can grant temporary alimony throughout the divorce proceedings if one spouse had been dependent upon the income of the other spouse during the marriage. While the spouse works to secure an income of their own, they may benefit from temporary alimony to maintain financial fairness until the divorce is finalized.
Although temporary alimony can potentially transition to permanent alimony, there is no guarantee that the judge will enforce a permanent order after the divorce proceedings have ended.
Although it sounds like a life-long order, permanent alimony often ends once the recipient finds other means to support themselves. Legitimately permanent alimony is rare and involves long-term spousal support after the divorce. In most permanent alimony cases, the receiving spouse cannot support themselves following divorce due to age or significant disability.
There Are Different Ways to Pay Alimony
Spouses can make alimony payments in various methods, including:
- Lump sum
Most spouses will pay over a period of time, often through an income deduction order, until the court terminates the order. Those with the means to do so may provide a large, one-time payment to avoid recurring payments.
Income Deduction Order
An income deduction order directs the paying spouse’s employer to withhold the payment amount from the spouse’s wages and send it directly to the family support registry. Doing so ensures payments will be made.
You Must Qualify for Alimony
Anyone can request alimony when divorcing in Georgia. However, the judge must determine if the couple meets the qualifications for alimony before granting any orders. If the judge determines that one spouse requires alimony and the other spouse is capable of paying, they will likely grant it.
Judges decide alimony orders based on factors like:
- Length of the marriage
- Income, financial resources, and financial conditions of each spouse
- Age and health status of each spouse
- Marital contributions from each spouse
If alimony would be a crucial component in your divorce, EMC Family Law can help you navigate the order to achieve successful results.
Our attorneys will fight for financial fairness and represent you thoroughly as we approach finalization. Schedule a consultation with our team today: 770-225-7000