What is alimony?

If you’re facing a divorce, we’re sure you have plenty of questions and emotions running through your mind. Ending a marriage is difficult, no matter the circumstances surrounding your impending divorce. Discussions about alimony aren’t likely to make the situation with your soon-to-be-ex any easier. This court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other is used to help them maintain a standard of living or financial stability to which they’ve become accustomed.

Are there different types of alimony?

In Georgia, the judge can order temporary or permanent alimony to be paid to one spouse. When temporary alimony is awarded, it’s to help financially support one spouse while the divorce case is pending and help take some of the strain off of the lower-earning spouse, who will be learning to adjust to paying bills on one income. Getting a temporary alimony order granted isn’t a guarantee of permanent alimony after the divorce is finalized. The judge will determine whether permanent alimony is appropriate and if so, a permanent order will be placed in effect after the divorce is finalized.

Permanent alimony may sound daunting, but it’s not typically awarded for an unlimited time. It’s typically awarded while the spouse finds a source of employment and until they can support themselves after the divorce is finalized. Cases of true permanent long-term alimony do exist for those spouses who cannot support themselves or find a job due to a disability or their advanced age.

Do I qualify for alimony?

Either spouse in a divorce can request alimony. Before the courts award alimony to the spouse, they must prove that they need the support and that the other spouse can pay it. If this can be established, the judge will consider these factors before awarding and creating a payment plan.

  • The current standard of living for each spouse.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The age and both the emotional and physical health of each spouse.
  • The financial resources of each spouse.
  • The time necessary for the spouse requesting support to acquire sufficient training for a job or the time it will take them to find appropriate employment.
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage, including education, childcare, and career-building of the other spouse.
  • Each spouse's financial conditions, including earning capacity, property, and debt.

How is alimony paid?

Most alimony payments are periodic, meaning they must be paid weekly, monthly, or as ordered. You must also pay until the court orders them to stop. Sometimes, if the paying spouse is able, the court can order a lump-sum payment, but this is a rare occurrence. Alimony is a court-ordered payment, which means it’s essential to pay as you have been ordered to do so. If you fail to pay alimony, you may be punished in court by being charged with penalties, liens on property, fines, and even jail time.


Now that you have taken the time to educate yourself on who we are, it’s time to focus on how to move forward in your case. Contact us via phone or the contact form to schedule your comprehensive one-hour consultation. Be sure to have available, all relevant information and details about your case when you contact Family Matters Law Group so that we can provide you with an exceptionally personalized experience.
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