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Understanding Georgia's alimony laws

Alimony is a monetary award paid by ex-spouse to support the other spouse. The payments can be temporary and used for rehabilitative purposes, or permanent, continuing indefinitely. Alimony is awarded to either spouse based on the needs of the requesting party and the ability of the other spouse to pay.

Alimony is only awarded when the judge finds it appropriate. When reviewing alimony cases, the court will review the conduct of both parties towards one another. Georgia also considers the factual cause of separation and spouses that participated in adultery or desertion are ineligible for alimony.

Alimony amount factors

Georgia has eight factors in places for determining the amount of alimony to be awarded. The factors allow the court to review each spouse's role and contributions to the marriage. In most cases, alimony is awarded for a temporary period of time to allow a spouse time to make life adjustments. The court considers:

· Marital standard of living: The standard of living established during the marriage

· Marriage duration: The length of time the couple was married

· Age and health: The age, physical and emotional health of both spouses

· Financial resources: The financial resources of each party.

· Training and education: The time needed for the spouse to undertake training or education to find appropriate employment, which may not be applicable in all cases.

· Marriage contributions: The contributions to the marriage made by each spouse in terms of homemaking, child care and career support for the other spouse

· Economic status: Each spouse's earning capacity, debts and separate assets

· Other relevant factors: Additional factors the court deems "equitable and proper"

Payment methods and duration

The payment method and schedule for alimony is flexible, depending on what the parties agree to or the court orders. For ongoing alimony, the payer can make payments on a periodic schedule, often monthly. A payer can also make a lump sum payment. Alimony does not need to be monetary and can also include property or investments.

For ongoing alimony, the payment will end when the recipient remarries, unless the court specifies otherwise. Payment will also end when the paying spouse passes away. However, if alimony is owed at the time of death a claim can be made against the payer's estate.

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