When one spouse earns significantly less than the other, or does not work outside of the home, they may be entitled to spousal support or alimony when the couple divorces. The general purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to a newly divorced spouse who may need some time to establish their financial independence.
Factors used to determine alimony
Georgia courts do not always award alimony in a divorce and even if alimony is awarded, the length and amount of the support will vary depending on the circumstances. There are many factors to be considered, relating to the marriage itself and the ability of each spouse to financially support themselves without the help of the other. These factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living the couple maintained during the marriage
- Contributions (financial and otherwise) made by each spouse during the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- The income and earning capacity (e.g. job skills, education, experience) of each spouse
- Whether a spouse needs additional time to acquire new job skills or additional education before he or she will be able to find a job
In many cases, the divorce court will award rehabilitative alimony to a lesser-earning spouse for a set period of time to allow them to complete additional training or education, or permanent alimony in cases where the spouse may be unable to work due to age or disability. A divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of alimony and other issues that may arise during your divorce.