Can you ask for alimony when you file for a Georgia divorce?

| Mar 2, 2021 | Divorce

Staying at home often makes good financial sense for your family. Whatever you might have earned in wages may have been less than the cost of a professional wardrobe, a vehicle for commuting and the cost of outsourcing all of the household work, like child care.

Even if you don’t have kids, running a household can be a more-than-full-time job with hours of cleaning, planning and cooking every day. The work that you do makes it possible for your spouse to focus on their career and to minimize the expenses involved in managing your household.

Unfortunately, being a stay-at-home spouse can put you in a nerve-racking position if you decide it’s time to file for divorce. Your earning potential might be so low that you can only command minimum wage after years out of the workforce. Alimony could be the tool that helps you regain your independence after a long time out of the workforce.

How does alimony work in Georgia?

Alimony involves a spouse with higher earning potential making temporary or sometimes permanent payments to their former spouse. Those payments help cover cost of living expenses and allow a dependent spouse to maintain a basic standard of living after the divorce.

Short-term or temporary alimony typically aims to give someone help with getting back on their feet and into the job market. In some cases, spouses may qualify for permanent alimony that lasts indefinitely if there are situations that can prevent them from ever supporting themselves.

Like child support, alimony payments often come directly from an employer before the person paying even receives those funds. Unlike child support, alimony is not automatic. You have to file a request with the courts in order to receive it.

What factors influence alimony?

Generally, the courts will consider the circumstances of the marriage and your needs. They will also consider the ability of the other party to pay.

The conduct you displayed toward your spouse and vice versa can also factor into the judge’s decision in your case. A spouse who has engaged in abusive behavior or who has been unfaithful is unlikely to receive alimony. However, the victims of infidelity or spousal abuse may be able to present evidence of what they endured during marriage to help build their case for alimony payments.

Asking for alimony and making sure that the amount and duration you receive is fair based on your marital circumstances may require careful financial review and planning.