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The effect of infidelity on the award of alimony in Georgia

If your spouse was engaged in an affair, that may well be the reason that you decided to end your marriage. Will his infidelity affect what you are awarded in alimony?

The court takes many factors into consideration when making a decision on spousal support, and marital misbehavior is one of them.

How alimony works in Georgia

In Georgia, there are thirteen grounds for divorce. Adultery is cited as one of the state’s at-fault grounds, and it can affect the decision of a judge as to whether alimony should be awarded. In determining the amount, the judge will then consider other factors, including:

  •         The duration of the marriage
  •         The marital standard of living
  •         The age and health of the parties
  •         The financial resources of each party
  •         The education level of each party
  •         The contributions each party made to the marriage

Kinds of alimony

The purpose of alimony in our state is to provide temporary financial help so that the spouse to whom it is awarded can adjust to life once the marriage is dissolved. However, the court can award alimony for as long as it is needed. An experienced divorce attorney will tell you that there are different kinds of alimony, too: periodic, in which payments are made on a regular basis; lump-sum, which is made either in one payment or in installments; and in-kind, which could be a piece of property or some kind of service.

How the court handles infidelity

If your spouse was unfaithful during the marriage, s/he will not be able to seek alimony from you, even if you are in a position to pay it. The reason is that the court does not want to use money to reward marital misbehavior. On the other hand, the judge may see fit to award alimony to you in a form that he or she regards as punishment for the infidelity of your spouse.