Alimony is support for one spouse that is paid by the other. By its nature, alimony is paid to one party as if he or she were receiving “income.” It is taxable to the party receiving the alimony and deductible by the party who is paying the alimony. In divorce cases, alimony may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis for the support and maintenance of either spouse. The amount and duration of alimony is generally based upon the needs of the spouse receiving alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay. Other factors that the court may consider in determining an appropriate award of alimony include the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each party, the financial resources of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage (including homemaking and child care), the separate estate and earning capacity of each party, the time needed for either party to acquire education or training to enable him or her to find employment, and any other relevant factors the court regards as fair and proper to consider. Alimony may be awarded in cash or property, and it may be payable periodically (monthly, quarterly or annually) or in one lump sum.
Georgia law does not provide a standard mathematical formula for determining an appropriate amount or length for alimony payments. Because there is no standard, a judge or jury has significant latitude to determine the amount of an alimony award. Accordingly, in any case where alimony is a factor, having an attorney who can provide the proper advice and advocacy may highly impact the outcome of an alimony award.