If you’re filing for divorce in Georgia, you’re probably wondering how much you’re going to be paying or receiving in alimony.
This article goes over the alimony laws in Georgia to explain:
- The types of alimony.
- How the courts qualify you for alimony.
- The payment of alimony.
- And whether alimony is taxable income.
This article will teach you the ins and outs of alimony based on divorce laws in Georgia.
So, keep reading below.
Types of Alimony In Georgia
Per the alimony laws in Georgia, judges can order temporary or permanent alimony.
Temporary Alimony In Georgia
Temporary alimony is paid to the lower income spouse DURING the divorce process in Georgia.
This is usually is the period of legal separation in Georgia.
And temporary alimony expires when the divorce is finalized.
The entire divorce process can take several months for an uncontested divorce or last up a few years if there is a lot of disagreements between the spouses.
Spouses some times need alimony to help them adjust financially from a two-income household to a single-income household.
Let’s say that your spouse is working full time and you stay at home to take care of the kids and support the family at home.
When someone gets a divorce as a stay at home parent, it’s hard to adjust to having separate homes and debts.
And in a lot of cases, they have been out of the workforce for several years.
While that’s not a bad thing, it benefits the spouse receiving the alimony in Georgia.
This is because the judge wants to ensure that there is fairness pertaining to the finances.
So, the judge will order the higher-earning spouses to pay temporary alimony to the lower-income earner while the divorce is processing.
And if the judge decides that the lower-income earning spouse should be awarded permanent alimony, then they will award that when the divorce is finalized.
Permanent Alimony In Georgia
Don’t worry (or do), permanent alimony is not permanent.
It just means that one spouse will pay the other for an extended amount of time.
Yes, it CAN be permanent (til death do you part, ammiright?).
But most of the time the length of alimony in Georgia is this:
For every 3 years of marriage, one year of alimony is awarded.
This means that if you were married 9 years, then the alimony would last 3 years.
If you were married 5 years, the alimony would last 1.6 years.
This permanent alimony in Georgia allows the lower-income spouse to have time to acquire job training or education and start a business or a new job.
Someone would only pay lifetime alimony if there was disabilities or age related factors.
How To Get Alimony In Georgia
I bet you didn’t know that you could request to receive alimony in Georgia.
But before the judge actually awards alimony, they will make sure that one of the spouses is in need of support.
They also take into consideration whether or not the other spouse can actually afford to pay the alimony.
When making the decision based on alimony laws in Georgia, they look at the following things:
- The standard of living during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and health of each spouse.
- The financial resources (income) of both spouses.
- The time it would take for the spouse to earn the education or training for employment.
- What each spouse contributed to the marriage. (Career building, financial support, family support, education, etc.)
The courts also take into consideration the reason for divorce.
Was the stay at home spouse cheating?
Was the working spouse having relations at work?
Did one spouse desert the other one?
A judge may deny the ‘at fault’ spouse any alimony.
Desertion and adultery are heavily considered when awarding (or not awarding) alimony.
How Much Is Paid For Alimony In Divorce?
Usually, the courts will order the paying spouse to make alimony payments every week or month.
High net worth spouses may be ordered to pay a lump sum at the finalization of divorce instead of making payments.
If you’re worried your spouse won’t pay, or you’re the spouse thinking you’re not paying (lol), you’re in luck.
The divorce courts will more than likely order that the alimony is automatically deducted from the paying spouse’s paycheck.
The funds will automatically be deducted into the family’s support registry.
If the paying spouse does not set up the funds to be automatically paid, the courts can issue fines, penalties, liens on their property, or jail.
Is Alimony Taxable Income?
Alimony used to be taxable to the person receiving it and tax deductible to the person paying it.
In January of 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the tax reporting and deduction of alimony.
Which means that alimony is not tax deductible anymore.
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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.