Georgia Divorce Alimony
Alimony—or spousal support—is sometimes awarded in a divorce case. Alimony is paid by one spouse to the other spouse as a means of financial support. Unlike child support, Georgia law does not provide a formula to determine alimony. Rather, a judge or jury considers the financial needs of the parties and abilities of the spouses in determining if—and how much—alimony is appropriate.
Determining Whether Alimony is Appropriate
Either a judge or a jury will determine if alimony is appropriate in a divorce case. Additionally, the parties can reach an agreement regarding alimony. Alimony is within the discretion of a judge or jury, and it is closely tied to the specific facts and circumstances of the divorce case - That is to say that alimony is more likely to be awarded in a case where there is a large discrepancy in the parties’ earning capabilities. Other factors that are influential in determining an alimony award are the health of the parties, their ages and their conduct during the marriage, although it is important to know that Georgia courts can consider any fact they deem relevant when making an alimony determination. You need a well-prepared and effective advocate to argue for your needs and present the facts most relevant to the Court’s determination.
Benefits and Duration of Alimony
Alimony comes in all shapes and sizes. Unlike child support, Georgia law does not provide specific guidelines to calculate alimony. Therefore, the amount of alimony is within the discretion of the judge or jury. Alimony might be periodic—meaning that it is paid in installments—or payment might occur in one or more lump sums. Alimony can last for a short period of time or it can be long-term, depending upon the circumstances. In any event, the death or remarriage of the recipient automatically terminates alimony.
Alimony carries tax implications. Alimony is a tax deduction for the person paying the alimony, and is taxable income for the person receiving alimony. However, if alimony is not structured properly, whether in a settlement agreement or by order of the court, the substantial tax benefits to one party can be squandered. Trust us to put all the relevant information before the court and incorporate the proper language into your settlement agreement to reflect the true will of the parties.
Hiring an Attorney
Alimony can be a key component of a divorce proceeding. Moreover, regardless of whether you’re the one paying alimony or receiving alimony, the financial impact of alimony can be significant. An experienced family law attorney can effectively pursue or challenge an alimony award that will protect your financial security and your ability to provide for loved ones. Contact The Zdrilich Law Group today for a consultation.