Alimony has always been a difficult topic for those who are going through a divorce. The idea of financially supporting a person with whom they are no longer in a relationship does not sit well with most adults. Now that tax laws concerning alimony being a deductible expense may change, more people than ever are concerned about whether or not they will have to pay spousal support. Fortunately, getting a divorce does not always mean that you will be required to pay, or entitled to receive, alimony. Learning if you will have to pay alimony prior to filing may influence how you handle your separation and divorce.

How Long Have You Been Married?

In Georgia, the length of a marriage does not automatically determine who should receive spousal support and how much money they will receive. However, the length of the marriage can influence the court’s decision to award alimony. A short marriage of less than five years has a lower chance of seeing a spouse awarded maintenance payments than a divorce involving a couple who has been married 30 years. The court will take the length of the marriage into consideration when they determine if you have to pay alimony, with those in longer marriages being more likely to receive some form of an alimony award if appropriate.

Did Anyone Leave Work or College?

During the course of any normal marriage, it is not unusual for one spouse to make professional sacrifices in order to help the couple meet a goal together. A spouse may leave college early before obtaining an undergraduate degree to support the other spouse, who is attempting to obtain a Master’s degree. Another spouse may decide to leave a lucrative job in order to raise the couple’s children. In both scenarios, one partner walks away from a career or an education that could have helped them obtain a career. Since the sacrifice was made to help the couple succeed, temporary alimony may be awarded to support one spouse while he or she finishes college or re-enters the workforce.

What are Their Financial Resources?

Before ordering that you pay alimony, the court will check to see if your spouse has a way to financially support him or herself. If a spouse requesting alimony has a savings account with a high balance, a high paying job, or other financial resources you may not have to pay alimony.  The court will typically only award alimony to a spouse who has no other means to support him or herself or maintain a household and was dependent on the income of a spouse.

Contact an Attorney

If you are unsure whether or not you will have to pay alimony if you get divorced, reach out to a qualified divorce attorney. The team at Vayman & Teitelbaum know that the decision to get a divorce is not made easily and there are many factors that should be involved in your choice.  Our attorneys will answer your questions regarding current Georgia alimony laws and help you decide how to move forward. Call our office today to schedule a consultation at one of our Atlanta area locations so that we can begin providing you with the help you need.