Alimony is the right of one spouse to receive money from the other spouse during a divorce action and after it has concluded. Alimony can be awarded by the court on a temporary or permanent basis and can be something that is contested or agreed upon.
The court may determine that a temporary award of alimony is appropriate during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony is differentiated from permanent alimony in that it lasts from the time the parties are separated until the time the final decree of divorce is entered.
In order to establish a valid claim for temporary alimony the requesting party must provide evidence establishing the following elements:
- A marriage exists
- The parties are living in a separated state.
- The request for temporary alimony is incidental to a pending action for divorce
- There is a dispute as to certain issues concerning the pending divorce
The court will then hold a hearing to determine the requesting party’s needs and the ability of the other party to pay the temporary alimony. O.C.G.A §19-6-3. Pursuant to that statute, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall grant an order allowing such temporary alimony, including expenses of litigation, as the condition of the parties and the facts of the case may justify. Additionally, at a hearing on the application for temporary alimony, the merits of the case are not in issue; however, the judge, in fixing the amount of alimony, may inquire into the cause and circumstances of the separation rendering alimony necessary and its discretion may refuse it altogether.
Permanent alimony is different from temporary alimony in that permanent alimony is paid by the paying spouse permanently until death or until the spouse receiving payments remarries. In Georgia there is no formula or alimony calculation for making the determination as to the amount of permanent alimony to be awarded. However, some of the factors that go into this decision include the following factors:
- the standard of living established during the marriage
- the length of time the parties were married
- the health of the parties
- financial resources of the parties
- time necessary to obtain employment
- the contribution of each party to the marriage
As in all cases involving family law, divorce or custody related matters, it is essential to have qualified representation to ensure that your rights are protected. The Faucette Law Firm has served Douglasville and the surrounding Metro Atlanta area for over six years. If you have a legal question contact our office to today for a consultation.