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How long will you need to pay alimony?

One of the most contentious issues spouses will generally have to contend with during divorce proceedings is the subject of alimony. Georgia has very specific laws on the books concerning how much alimony the ex-spouses will need to pay and receive, respectively. 

The need for alimony comes down to each of the spouses becoming used to a given lifestyle during the marriage. After the marriage ends, one spouse may make substantially less money than the other. In an attempt at fairness, the court may award alimony based on need and ability to pay. 

Factors considered for alimony

The duration of the marriage is an important factor when awarding alimony. Alimony is more common in marriages that lasted over 10 years compared to marriages that ended within a couple of years. The court also considers the financial resources of each party to ensure the spouse who needs to pay will be able to make such payments while enjoying a decent quality of living personally. Other factors a judge will consider include the following:

  • Age as well as the emotional and physical condition of both parties
  • Earning capacity of both parties and estate owned by each
  • Contributions each party made during the marriage, including child care, homemaking and education
  • Time needed for the lower earning party to attain the necessary training or education to earn an independent living

The spouse requesting alimony must provide evidence as to the need for alimony to live sufficiently. As a result of the above factors, alimony can either become permanent or temporary. 

Adultery's impact on alimony

Although some states will not consider adultery in the event it played a role in the divorce, Georgia judges will take it into consideration. The spouse must provide evidence either adultery or the intent to commit adultery took place. Confirmation of infidelity can prevent a spouse who would ordinarily require alimony from receiving alimony payments. 

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