If you’re considering or going through, a divorce, it’s important to know how much you’ll pay for alimony in Georgia (or how much you’ll receive).
When filing for a divorce in Georgia, you’ll need to discuss a lot of aspects of how to split up your life. These include:
- Child custody in Georgia
- Property settlement in Georgia
- Child support
- And potentially alimony
This article will teach you about the different types of alimony in Georgia, how alimony is calculated, how long does alimony last, and how the divorce courts decide to award alimony based on the divorce laws in Georgia.
So, keep reading.
Alimony In Georgia
It’s important to realize that alimony in Georgia is not a GUARANTEED part of your divorce.
This is good or bad depending on which perspective you have.
Normally, alimony is awarded in Georgia if the couple is ending a long term (10+ year) marriage and one of the spouses cannot earn enough income to maintain their current standard of living.
The purpose of alimony is to minimize the effects from the loss of joint income for the lower income spouse.
The higher income spouse will have to pay alimony for a duration of several years but can be eliminated for several different reasons.
The reason why alimony is awarded to the lower-income spouse is that that spouse may have NOT gone to school to support the family.
In this event, how long alimony lasts is dependent on how long it takes for that spouse to get skills to earn a higher income.
Another reason may be to help a spouse continue the standard of living they had during marriage despite changes to income, income tax, bonuses, taxable income, tax returns and etc.
Alimony Laws In Georgia
Per the alimony laws in Georgia, judges can order temporary or permanent alimony.
Temporary alimony is ONLY while the divorce is pending in court.
After the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony is no longer available.
During the divorce process, spouses must financially adjust from a two-income household to a single-income household.
If your spouse was the one who worked while you supported the family, the adjustment could be difficult.
You will now how to move into a separate home and pay bills and debts that your spouse was paying before.
While it may not seem like it, the divorce court’s goal is to ensure financial fairness to both spouses.
This may mean that the courts order one spouse to financially support the other spouse during the divorce process.
But temporary alimony does not mean that you will be awarded permanent alimony after the divorce has been finalized.
If the judge determines that permanent alimony makes sense, then they will create a new divorce order that makes one spouse pay the other a certain amount of alimony for a period of time.
Don’t worry, though. You won’t be paying alimony the rest of your life (most likely).
The most common alimony awards are for spouses who need temporary support to acquire job training or education.
This alimony lasts long enough so that the spouse has time to find employment and become self-supporting.
Georgia alimony laws reserve truly permanent (long-term) alimony for spouses who are unable to find a job and support themselves due to advanced age or disability.
How Is Alimony Calculated
As an unspoken rule (even though we don’t know FOR SURE how is alimony calculated), we have seen that judges won’t make your child support and alimony in Georgia greater than 60% of your income.
This means that, with how alimony is calculated in Georgia, you COULD be left with only 40% of your income after paying alimony AND child support when you file for divorce with children in Georgia.
Since the child support in Georgia is calculated using a formula that’s pretty set in stone, the alimony is what’s going to be up to the judge to decide.
And, obviously, no judge calculates the same amount of alimony, which makes it hard to nail down the EXACT amount you can pay for alimony in Georgia.
But the thought on leaving the payee with 40% of their income or more is that if the judge makes that person pay more than 60% of their income, then there is not really any incentive to work.
I mean, I would not want to go to work to lose 60% or more of my income. It would feel pointless.
But the 60% rule for alimony is not hard and fast rule for how alimony is calculated.
If there are like 4 kids and the other spouse have no jobs skills, alimony could end up being more than 60% of your income.
Again, it depends on your judge and how they are feeling that day. The best divorce lawyers will know how to negotiate with your judge on alimony.
But, let’s look at an example of how the alimony in Georgia plays out.
Let’s say that the husband files for divorce and he makes $10,000 per month.
His wife has been a stay at home mom with 3 kids and has not had any income since the first kid was born.
Under the formula for child support in Georgia, she is entitled to $2,850 in child support per month.
But let’s say that she convinces the judge that the MINIMUM amount she needs is $3,500 to cover her needs and housing payments.
Since her child support is $2,850, her alimony in Georgia would be $650 per month.
$3,500 – $2,850 = $650
How Long Does Alimony Last
How long does alimony last is determined by how long the “rehabilitative” period is.
This means, “How long will it take for the spouse receiving alimony in Georgia to receive training and become self-supporting?”
This could be in as little as 6 months.
But my uncle ended up paying his ex-wife alimony for 8 years. He’s an architect and she didn’t have a job for 17 years. However, she did go back to school and got three master’s degrees in those 17 years.
She ended up working as a librarian, which I’m sure kept her from earning enough money to have the same standard of living as when they were married. This meant that he had to pay her a significant amount of alimony.
Over the course of that 8 years, in child support and alimony, he ended up paying her over $500,000.
If the divorce decree doesn’t specify an alimony termination date, the alimony payments must continue until the divorce court orders otherwise.
Most alimony awards end if the person receiving alimony remarries someone new.
Termination upon the payer’s death isn’t necessarily automatic (for some reason).
And if the receiving party is unlikely to be gainfully employed, the court may order the paying spouse’s estate plan or life insurance to pay alimony to the receiving spouse AFTER the paying spouse dies.
Alimony In Georgia Calculator
The State of Georgia doesn’t have a mathematical formula for making alimony calculations.
But here is an Alimony in Georgia Calculator.
If you want an in-depth break down of how alimony in Georgia is best calculated, check out the Alimony Formula.
How long does alimony last is determined by how long you have been married.
The alimony calculations for duration are as follows (find examples below):
- Marriages shorter than 6 years: 50%
- Marriages of 6 – 10 years: 60%
- Marriages of 11 – 15 years: 70%
- Marriages of 16 – 20 years: 80%
- Marriages of 20+ years: Permanent
So, if your marriage lasted 10 years, how long alimony lasts is only six years.
10 years of marriage x 60% = 6 years of alimony
So, when it comes to the AMOUNT you’ll pay, here’s a general formula for how alimony is calculated.
How your alimony most likely will be calculated is 35% of the payee’s gross income minus the receiver’s gross income.
Since math is terrible in words, let’s do an example.
Let’s say that John makes $125,000 per year in gross income. Jane makes $25,000 per year working part time from home.
$125,000 – $25,000 = $100,000
$100,000 x 35% = $35,000 in annual alimony
$35,000 / 12 months = $2,916 per month in alimony payments.
Remember how we calculated 6 years of alimony payments?
John would be paying Jane $2,916 per month for 6 YEARS.
How Is Alimony Determined
Wondering how is alimony determined?
Alimony is very different from child support in terms of how alimony is determined.
For example, child support in Georgia is mandated based on very specific formulas.
But with alimony, the divorce courts can make willy nilly decisions on how much alimony is paid and for how long.
The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act recommends that courts consider the following factors in making decisions about how alimony is determined:
- The age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial condition of the former spouses.
- The length of time the recipient would need for education or training to become self-sufficient.
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The ability of the payer spouse to support the recipient and still support himself or herself.
The only way to KNOW how much alimony you will pay is to of had prenup alimony laid out before the marriage. (Not much help now, though.)
Alimony In Georgia For Adultery
For alimony, Georgia laws are such that if you are the one the would normally receive alimony, but you committed adultery, there’s no good news for you.
When you are trying to get alimony in Georgia for adultery, you will not get alimony from your spouse if the separation was caused by adultery. Like all 13 grounds for divorce in Georgia, you will have to prove whether the adultery was committed or not and what the reason for the legal separation was.
When alimony is being awarded, adultery ONLY affects the ability to get alimony when it was the cause of the separation.
In the court’s eyes, adultery is defined as a spouse having sexual intercourse with someone who is not a spouse.
Any other relations will not be considered adultery when it comes to how the alimony laws in Georgia work.
But if it can be proven that adultery led to the divorce, then the person guilty of committing adultery will not get alimony in Georgia.
But adultery only affects alimony. It does not affect whether or not the adulterous spouse gets any of the marital property or not.
Who Pays Alimony In A Divorce
Alimony means support payments and maintenance of a spouse. These support payments for alimony can be a lump sum or in recurring payments.
As to who pays alimony in a divorce, the supporting spouse pays the dependent spouse. A spouse is dependent when they earn less money than the other spouse.
A dependent spouse can be either a husband or a wife. It is not gender based, but it only income based.
And it’s important to note that when you pay alimony, that alimony is tax deductible.
But when you receive alimony, you have to pay taxes on that income.
Over To You
Your divorce outcome and what you are awarded in the divorce depends heavily on your divorce attorney.
A bad divorce lawyer one can get trampled if your spouse has a top-notch divorce lawyer in Georgia, which means that you don’t get what you fairly deserve in the divorce.
If you want to file the divorce paperwork on your own, check out our divorce paperwork that is downloadable and easy to fill out.
If you want a FREE divorce consultation, fill out the form below.
There’s no obligation to use us and if we decide that your case is not the right fit for us, we will happily point you in the right direction on the steps to take to protect yourself.
After your divorce and division of assets, you may want to consider redoing your will and estate planning.
Even if you don’t have assets, your spouse is no longer your emergency contact and you might want to appoint a power of attorney in the event of a medical emergency.
You may not want doctors that you don’t know making major life decisions for you in the event of an emergency.