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 capacities.
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.