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Georgia Modification of Alimony

Unlike child support, alimony may or may not be subject to modification.  The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to one spouse who is financially dependent upon the other spouse.  Georgia law recognizes two types of alimony—lump-sum alimony and periodic alimony.  As its name suggests, lump-sum alimony is paid in a lump sum.  Since lump-sum alimony is paid all at one time, it is not subject to modification.  Conversely, periodic alimony or spousal support is paid in installments that are made over time.  This is the traditional alimony most people think of when beginning this process.  Periodic alimony may be subject to modification.  If the parties are unable to agree to a modification of alimony, a judge will have to decide whether or not a modification is warranted.

Legal Grounds for a Modification of Alimony

Life sometimes presents circumstances that can impact your ability to meet your obligations, whether it be a health emergency or losing a job.  If the financial needs of the recipient change significantly, the alimony award may be increased or decreased accordingly in the discretion of the court.  Additionally, if the financial status of the ex-spouse ordered to pay alimony significantly changes, the alimony award may be increased or decreased accordingly. 

Grounds for Termination of Alimony

An alimony order will contain an expiration date.  That is to say, the order will specify when the period alimony or spousal support ends.  Typically, the order will provide for the periodic payments to continue for a specific number of months or years.  Additionally, alimony can be terminated based upon the actions of the recipient.  If the alimony recipient dies or remarries, alimony can be terminated.  Additionally, if the alimony recipient engages in a meretricious relationship, the alimony award can be terminated.  A meretricious relationship consists of cohabitating in a serious relationship without marrying. 

Hiring an Attorney

An action to modify alimony is a serious legal matter that can carry significant financial repercussions.  We have the experience necessary to protect or defend your financial and legal interests in a modification of alimony action.  Contact The Zdrilich Law Group today for a consultation.