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In Georgia, an alimony award can certainly influence the distribution of property, and it can become a very intricate part of the outcome of any divorce. When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on this issue, the Superior Court can order support on a case-by-case basis.
Any spouse may receive alimony as long as he or she did not desert or commit adultery. If a party has deserted the other or committed adultery, he or she will not be awarded alimony.
An award of spousal support terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient and the voluntary cohabitation of the parties to the divorce after the judgment of divorce has been finalized.
In Georgia, a divorce often takes up to a year to be concluded. When the spouses cannot agree on alimony, a jury trial or a bench trial - a trial that is heard only before a judge - determines if maintenance is appropriate, and the amount and duration. A hearing is often held after the parties separate in order to preserve the status quo until the divorce is final.
Alimony recognizes the contributions the recipient made during the marriage or permits him or her to enjoy the lifestyle he or she had before the marriage ended. It may also be provided to help the receiving spouse earn financial independence. For example, if one spouse quit school to stay at home during the marriage, at divorce the spouse may receive aid until he or she finishes schooling and can earn a job to become self-supporting.
Types of Alimony
In Georgia alimony is either rehabilitative or permanent. Usually the court grants alimony only when a long-term marriage ends. The paying party must be able to pay alimony for the court to award it. Alimony may also be granted short-term pending a decree.
Factors Considered by the Court
According to the Georgia Code - Sections: 19-5-5, when the spouses cannot agree on an amount, the courts consider:
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