How Long Does Someone Have To Pay Alimony?
Alimony payments depend on each case. One of the factors would be the recipient spouse is saying that he or she needs some sort of financial help from the soon-to-be-ex. For example, if a spouse can get back into the workforce in two to three years, then they are not going to need alimony anymore. The judge may say, “I am going to give him or her 2 to 3 years to get back on their feet until support is no longer needed”. Or in the case where there is a longer marriage, say over thirty years, and there is absolutely no reasonable expectation for the recipient spouse to be able to get back into the workforce, and support him or herself, the judge can say, “Well, I am going to order this for lifetime”.
The judge may say “No alimony whatsoever”, because the spouse requesting alimony, due to his or her employment history and educational background, is fully capable of supporting themselves. Again, the length of time depends on the totality of the circumstances.
Can The Alimony Or Spousal Support Amount Ever Be Adjusted Or Modified?
It can be adjusted, but it depends on the type of alimony issued. In Georgia, there are two types of alimony. There is periodic alimony, and then there is lump sum alimony. It is important to identify which type of alimony that you are talking about, because there is a difference. Period alimony means that the spouse is ordered to pay a certain amount over a certain time, but if it is periodic, it can be modified. This means either one of the spouses can come back and ask for modification of the alimony based on the material changes of their financial circumstances. Lump sum alimony is not modifiable. It is permanently set for life.
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Alimony Or Spousal Support?
The biggest misconception is thinking that he or she should get alimony, because the other spouse was the cause of the breakup of the marriage. For example, many people come in and say, “I would still be married to him or her if she didn’t go out and cheat on me. I want to punish him or her, because they are the cause of the breakup of the marriage. They stepped outside of the marriage”. Alimony award is not intended to punish either one of the parties. Many people think that, “He’s done this, so I am going to take him for everything he’s done, and I’m going to make him pay me everything”.
Judges are not inclined to do that, and judges are not supposed to do that. That is probably the biggest misconception people have. Alimony should not be used as a tool to punish one of the parties for wrongdoing, and that is just not the case.
How Is The Amount Of Alimony And Spousal Support Determined?
The judge is going to look at the ability of the payer spouse, and the needs of the payee spouse to determine payments. Alimony is not intended to punish either one of the parties for the cause of the breakup of the marriage. Alimony is meant to bridge the gap, and give people an opportunity, or a chance to rebound from the financial devastation that is often seen in divorces. The judge is going to take into consideration all of those factors when he is trying to figure out how long it is going to last, if it should last at all.
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