Couples in Georgia and elsewhere deciding to divorce may wonder how they
will even begin the decision-making process for alimony, also known as
spousal support, and child support. There are many factors that a divorcing
couple may consider when deciding whether alimony is appropriate and the
duration of any alimony award. One factor that may be taken into consideration
is how the economy has impacted the couple's finances and earning
When arriving at an alimony award, one of the main factors that the court
may consider is the income of each spouse. The court may factor in whether
each spouse is able to be self-supporting and the consistency and amount
of each spouse's income. To determine alimony, a spouse may introduce
an expert who can address the expenses of each spouse and the living standards
of the couple. The court also may consider other financial circumstances
of the couple, including job loss, medical emergencies, health issues
and changes in occupation. Lastly, the court may factor in whether one
spouse has earned lower wages or has not earned wages at all in recent history.
Alimony typically is used to ensure that one spouse does not unfairly suffer
financially as a result of a divorce and provides an income to a spouse
who has a lower income, or no income at all. Alimony can be awarded temporarily
or permanently. Commonly, alimony is awarded on a rehabilitative basis,
which means that income is given to the recipient to receive the education
and training that he or she will need to become self-supporting.
There are many difficult decisions that must be made when a couple decides
to divorce. However, alimony may provide a source of financial support
as former spouses begin their new individual lives.