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My question is regarding potential alimony. We're in Georgia…

Hello. My question is...

Hello. My question is regarding potential alimony. We're in Georgia & have been married 22 years. No prior marriages, children, assets/debts. No infidelity, abuse or inheritances. Two kids in college and two in high school - custody would be shared equally without issue. I was a stay at home mom for 16 years and returned to work 3 years ago. My salary is significantly lower than his, in part due to the career gap. I'm assuming alimony is calculated by roughly halving the total income between us. Is this accurate & what would happen if he were to retire? He is 56 and I am 47. Thank You!

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Georgia

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, thank you

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10/5/2017
jb156200
jb156200, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 645
Experience: I am a licensed practicing attorney in Tampa, Florida.
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am licensed attorney. I hope I may be of assistance with your question. Please remember to rate my answer at the end of this session. Thank you!

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A judge in Georgia may award temporary alimony during divorce proceedings—sometimes called "pendente lite" alimony, meaning while the action is pending. The judge may also order either temporary or permanent alimony after the divorce is final. One spouse generally pays the other a specified amount periodically—monthly or biweekly, for example— for a set period of time. Occasionally, a court will order a single lump-sum payment instead of periodic payments.

Permanent alimony is becoming increasingly rare. (Even when it is ordered, it's rarely truly permanent--that's just a name for alimony that's ordered after a divorce is final.) Particularly in shorter marriages, Georgia courts tend to look at alimony as rehabilitative, meaning that it's only paid for a specific, limited period of time in for the purpose of helping the recipient spouse find a job or obtain training or education to improve employment prospects.

Permanent alimony is generally reserved for spouses with very poor employment prospects due to ill health or advanced age. A couple can always agree between themselves to provide one spouse with long-term or permanent alimony.

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Before awarding alimony, a court must find that one spouse has financial need and that the other has the ability to pay. Georgia courts will also consider whether one spouse's behavior led to the breakdown of the marriage; a spouse who otherwise might have received alimony but committed adultery or abandoned the other spouse may be barred from receiving payments. Some of the factors impacting need and ability to pay include:

  • each spouse’s earning capacity, separate estate, financial resources, and debts
  • each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, child care, education, and career building for the other spouse
  • the marital standard of living
  • each spouse’s age, and physical and emotional condition
  • any time necessary for either spouse to obtain education and training for appropriate employment, and
  • the length of the marriage.

There is no formula for calculating alimony in Georgia; different factors may have more or less weight depending on the overall circumstances of a case. A judge has great discretion in deciding what amount to award, or whether to award any amount at all.

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Please let me know if you need any clarification or if you have an additional question. Also please remember to rate my answer. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hello,Yes - I have already read the above information on divorcenet.com but I was interested in your opinion of my personal circumstances that I noted in my question. What do you believe would be my chances of being awarded alimony beyond the divorce itself? What if I were granted alimony post-divorce and then he retired - how would that affect any alimony?Thank You!

The information provided is directly from the Georgia statutes regarding alimony. There is no guarantee that you will be rewarded alimony; however, in your situation I do believe you will. What I can not definitively tell you is the amount of the alimony, or the duration of the alimony. Both of those items are at the sole discretion of the family judge.

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Once the Georgia family judge executes the final divorce decree, which will outline the type of alimony, the amount of alimony, and the duration of the alimony, then those terms become locked in place regardless of your ex retiring. In order for either the amount or duration to be changed an action for a modification of alimony may be filed by either of the former spouses in order to seek a reduction or increase in the amount of alimony paid by one former spouse the other. What that means, is if he retires he will have to file for modification, but it also means you have the right to seek modification to increase the amount or duration.

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