Spousal Support, Alimony, Maintenance

Need help with spousal support and alimony? In certain situations, a wife may request alimony, which refers to court-ordered financial support given to the wife after the dissolution of a marriage.

When there is a significant income disparity, especially if the husband was the primary breadwinner, it is likely that the wife will seek alimony. The amount of alimony is generally influenced by the difference in earnings and the duration of the marriage.

Determining Eligibility for Maintenance

In most jurisdictions, eligibility for alimony is based on whether the spouse lacks sufficient property, including marital assets, to meet their reasonable needs and expenses and is unable to support themselves through suitable employment.

Reducing Exposure to Alimony

To minimize the potential alimony obligation, the husband should consider the following actions if the divorce is not imminent:

  1. Lowering current household expenses.
  2. Encouraging the wife to become more financially self-reliant.
  3. Reducing debts.
  4. Assisting the wife in obtaining a job or pursuing further education.
  5. Maximizing time spent with the children.
  6. Investigating potential marital misconduct issues and avoiding such behavior.
  7. Allowing temporary disabilities to improve before finalizing the divorce.
  8. If the income is decreasing, delaying the divorce to use a lower income for calculating alimony.

Factors Considered in Determining Alimony

Courts typically take into account various factors when deciding on alimony, although these factors vary by state. Some common considerations include:

  1. Length of the marriage.
  2. Age and health of the parties.
  3. Property division.
  4. Education level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time of divorce.
  5. Earning capacity of both parties.
  6. Feasibility for the spouse seeking alimony to achieve self-support at a similar standard of living to that during the marriage.
  7. Tax implications for both parties.
  8. Pre-marital and post-marital agreements.
  9. Contribution of one party to the other’s education or increased earning power.
  10. Any other relevant facts as determined by the court.

Calculating Alimony

The amount of alimony varies from state to state and even among different jurisdictions. In many cases, there are no specific guidelines for calculating alimony, leading to inconsistencies in the awards.

Termination of Alimony

Alimony may cease or decrease for various reasons, such as the receiving party’s remarriage, cohabitation in a marriage-like relationship, or death.

Purpose of Alimony

Maintenance may be ordered as a substitute for property division, as short-term support to help the ex-spouse become financially self-sufficient, or as lifelong support for a spouse with limited earning capacity or employability.

If you live in or near Atlanta, GA and need a spousal support lawyer, call us today. We have 7 locations throughout the Atlanta area.

Michael D Barber
Georgia Lawyer specializing in DUI, Drug Charges & Criminal Defense