24 May Will I Owe or Receive Alimony After Divorce?
Georgia attorney Kelli Hooper addressed the complexities of alimony in a recent video interview.
In the interview  with AskTheLawyers.com(tm), Hooper explained how alimony, also known as spousal support, is handled in Georgia. She said that this is a type of legal provision that allocates funds for an ex-spouse who may not have been the primary bread-winner of the couple and would require financial assistance after a divorce.
She explained that in Georgia, there are two main types of alimony: temporary and permanent. Temporary is awarded during a divorce proceeding, and “permanent” refers to anything offered after a final divorce order. She said that courts will consider many factors when deciding between temporary and permanent alimony.
“You look at the income of the parties, you look at the corpus of the marriage or the assets and debts of the marriage, you look at the ability of the payor, the potential payor to pay, and then you look at the person who would be receiving the alimony and see how much they would actually need in order to maintain the status quo,” she said.
According to Hooper, alimony is about maintaining the status quo among all parties, despite the change in circumstance. She said the courts will consider the actions of the parties, including infidelity, when calculating the amount. She also said that changes in the tax law have a significant effect on alimony payments.
For anyone contemplating divorce, Hooper suggests reviewing your prenuptial agreement (if available) to fully understand all factors. She says that if the prenup was drafted before the recent tax law, you may need to change it to a postnuptial agreement.
“I would encourage people that you should always speak with an attorney, probably one or two before you decide on filing for divorce and really look at the assets of the marriage, to determine if that’s something that’s going to be available to you,” she said.
Kelli Hooper is a divorce attorney based in Fayetteville who helps clients in the Metro Atlanta area. She is the incoming chair of the Family Law Section of the American Association for Justice, and she is the chair of the Child Support Committee for the American Bar Association. She can be reached at 888-558-1353. Learn more at her AsktheLawyers.com(tm) profile .