Alimony in Georgia
Alimony is a big issue to be discussed in many Georgia divorce cases. Unlike child support, which has a specific formula and is required in all cases involving children, alimony “is authorized, but is not required, to be awarded to either party in accordance with the needs of the party and the ability of the other party to pay.” OCGA §19-6-1(c). First, this means that alimony does not have to be awarded. Second, there is no formula used to find the “proper” amount of alimony in every case. It is a “needs vs. ability to pay” analysis. The judge will consider evidence of each party’s financial circumstances in making a determination of whether alimony should be awarded and, if so, how much. In addition, the court is required to “consider evidence of the conduct of each party toward the other.” Id. Since there is no prescribed formula, it is often difficult to predict how a judge will rule on the issue.
Despite the above, there is one “definite” when it comes to alimony. In Georgia, “[a] party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that party’s adultery or desertion.” OCGA §19-6-1(b). In short, if you committed adultery, you will not get alimony no matter what your financial situation is.