How Spousal Support Factors Into Divorce

When spouses divorce, alimony, also known as spousal support, is intended to help the spouse who is in the weaker financial position transition to a state of financial independence. Alimony can come from both the supporting spouse and from the state (i.e., taxpayers). Spousal support is not intended to be a financial windfall or pension, though if circumstances make it necessary, spousal support may continue for a long time.

In Georgia, the court will consider the financial status and education of the party seeking support in the divorce, as well as the financial status of the party from whom support is requested. The court will consider what the requesting spouse did to contribute to the marriage, including his or her employment, role in raising children, career sacrifices for the other spouse's career, etc.

What Can Impact The Determination Of Spousal Support?

If the requesting spouse did not work and does not have the requisite qualifications to obtain employment, these factors will be considered and the court may award support. If the couple enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, the amount of spousal support awarded often will reflect that.

In some instances, spousal support may also include educational assistance for training or retraining if the spouse has skills that are not readily marketable. Spousal support is a separate consideration from child support. However, it will be considered when determining the child support amount.

Additionally, if the spouse who is receiving support remarries, the payments will cease (under the theory that the new couple can make it on their own without financial support from a prior spouse).

Furthermore, to have an order of spousal support modified, the party seeking the modification must file a separate action and there must be a change in financial circumstances for one or both parties.

Get Answers To Your Questions Today

How will alimony factor into your divorce? Talk to an experienced family lawyer to learn more. Call 678-926-9234 or email Hecht Family Law for a free phone consultation. All calls are answered by attorneys. Our Alpharetta firm serves clients throughout the Atlanta metro area.