One of the most hotly debated issues involved in the divorce process is how long a person will be required to pay alimony. The answer is that there are specific laws in Georgia regarding how much alimony a former spouse will be required to pay. It is critical to understand the role of alimony, which was created so that one spouse can help the other spouse acclimate to living independently after a marriage ends. As a result, the exact amount of time that you will be required to pay alimony depends on a number of factors that are unique to your situation.

Factors Involved with Alimony

One of the primary factors that influences how long a former spouse will be required to pay alimony is the duration of the marriage. Another factor that influences the length of time that you will be required to pay alimony is the financial resources of each spouse. Some of the other relevant factors include each party’s age, the standard of living during the marriage, emotional health, physical condition, earning capacity, contributions made by the former spouses during the marriage, and the time required by the spouse receiving alimony to reach a point where he or she can live independently. The influence of these factors on alimony is articulated in O.C.G.A. § 19-6-5.

How Adultery Influences the Length of Alimony

Courts in Georgia take adultery into consideration when determining the length of time that alimony must be paid. A spouse must provide evidence that adultery or the intent to commit adultery occurred within the marriage.

The Unpredictable Nature of Alimony Cases

It is important to know that one of these factors alone is often not enough to determine how long alimony will be paid. As a result, sometimes, marriages that last for a short period of time require a person to pay alimony for a period of time that is longer than expected. In the 2009 case of Sprouse v. Sprouse, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld a ruling that alimony be paid for 13 years after a marriage that only lasted for two years. Although, alimony of this length for a short marriage is unlikely, the trial judge in this case determined that because the total length of time of the couple’s relationship was 13 years, it was appropriate to award alimony be paid for this amount of time. Because the alimony process in Georgia can be particularly complicated and there are numerous factors that can come into play, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer who understands the various laws involved.

Contact a Seasoned Family Law Attorney

If you have any questions about how long you will be required to pay alimony, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. Our legal counsel understands the numerous issues involved with divorce and will remain committed to making sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.