Daniele Johnson & Associates

What Is The Difference Between Alimony And Spousal Support?


May 15, 2017 | Comments (0)

Those two terms are generally used interchangeably, but there is a difference between alimony and spousal support. Spousal support is usually awarded on a temporary basis and is intended to bridge the financial gap while the divorce is pending. Spousal support is intended to be used to pay for the marital expenses, such as, bills; utilities; mortgage; basic necessities for the receiving spouse; and other household expenses. A temporary award of attorney’s fees is also considered spousal support. Once the final divorce decree is issued, the spousal support is terminated.

An award of alimony is made part of the final divorce decree if it deemed appropriate by the Court. That could be for a lump sum amount. It could be for a certain period, and that could be in the form of attorney’s fees, as the judge feels warranted.

Which Party Typically Has To Pay Spousal Support In Georgia?

The judge determines who will pay any alimony/spousal support. Usually, the person who makes most money of the two spouses and who is in a better position to provide financial support to the other spouse will pay the support. Of course, there are several factors to take into consideration, but in general, the person who has the most money is the person who is going to end up paying for alimony if it is determined that an award of alimony/spousal support is warranted.

Is Alimony And Spousal Support Always Awarded In A Divorce Case?

No. Alimony, and spousal support are not always offered in a divorce settlement. The judge has to take into consideration several factors that are outlined in the statute, including, but not limited to, one spouse need for support; the other spouse’s ability to pay support; the length of the marriage; and the accustomed standard of living. An award of alimony/spousal support is not automatic.

Is There A Certain Period Of Time That The Couple Must Be Married For In Order For Spousal Support To Be Awarded?

There is no amount of time that a couple must be married for someone to receive any spousal support in the state of Georgia. However, the length of the marriage is one of those many factors. For example, he may be less inclined to give an award of alimony when the marriage is less than five years old, as opposed to a marriage that is well over eighteen plus years old. It really does depend on the totality of circumstances.

When Does Alimony And Spousal Support Begin In Georgia?

Alimony and spousal support depends on each case. However, spousal support is usually issued at first appearance with a judge. This is typically at a temporary hearing. Usually, the payments are going to start relatively soon after that hearing. As far as alimony, again, it is usually after the final decree is issued. However, any type of award is going to be case specific.

For more information on Alimony Versus Spousal Support, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 984-5311 or contacting us today.

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Daniele Johnson & Associates provides strong and compassionate legal representation for all types of Family law cases in GA.