Alimony

Alimony is defined as an allowance out of one party’s estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately.

A party is barred from receiving alimony if it is established that the separation between the parties was caused by that party’s adultery or desertion. In all other actions alimony is authorized, but is not required, to be awarded to either party but if the trier of fact believes the award of alimony to be justified under the facts of that case then it is awarded according to the needs of the party seeking alimony and the ability of the other party to pay must be the guiding principle. Alimony is not a punitive tool although the conduct of each party to pay.

In the Atlanta metropolitan area, alimony is often awarded for a limited period of years which are determined to be reasonable based on that party’s need for rehabilitation as far as their career or to obtain necessary education to enable that party to be self-supporting. The principle generally is to provide the dependent spouse was sufficient resources to be able to go back to school or acquire skills needed to get a job or to earn more money. Permanent alimony or alimony payable until the death or remarriage of the dependent spouse is awarded less often and is most often deemed by the court as being reasonable and appropriate to the circumstance when the parties have been married for a considerable period of time and the dependent spouse has been out of the workforce for most of that time devoting themselves to the career of the other party or to maintaining the household and raising the children.

Factors Considered In Determining The Amount of Alimony, If Any

When the judge or jury as the case may be determines that alimony is appropriate in a given case then the following factors must be considered in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. The duration of the marriage;
  3. The age and physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  4. The financial resources of each party;
  5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment;
  6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homebuilding, childcare, education, and career building of the other party;
  7. The condition of the parties, including their separate estate, earning capacity, and six liabilities of the parties; and
  8. Such other relevant factors as the court may deem equitable and proper.

 

Any award of alimony will terminate upon the remarriage of the party to whom the obligation is owed unless otherwise provided. Under current federal income tax rules in order to qualify as “tax deductible” alimony deductible from the gross income of the paying spouse the payments of alimony must be required by the terms of a court order, be payable in periodic fashion (not in a lump sum), be conditional i.e. the payments must terminate upon the death of the recipient spouse and not be defined as “not tax deductible” alimony in the court order. There are additional requirements that are more technical and therefore a certified public accountant should be consulted before assuming that the payments will qualify as “tax deductibe” alimony.

If you have an issue concerning the payment or nonpayment of alimony in the Atlanta, Georgia area, Michael J. King is qualified and ready to assist you as Mediator to address and resolve through Mediation whatever the dispute might entail. Call Michael J. King, attorney Mediator in Atlanta at (770–662–0600) or e-mail him (mking@mjklaw.net) today to schedule your Mediation.