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When do you qualify for spousal support?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Family Law

Spousal support is not a guaranteed component of every divorce. However, if one spouse makes significantly more than the other and the marriage lasted 10 years or more, the chances are greater.

There are certain circumstances, such as adultery, that affect your eligibility. However, should the court award you with spousal support, there is no set way that courts in Georgia determine the amount.

Factors that affect eligibility

Some factors that the court considers include:

  • Any non-income-producing contributions to the marriage
  • The standard of living maintained during the marriage
  • The financial situation of the paying spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • The earning potential of the receiving spouse

Financial considerations include debts, and the court considers the age and physical condition of the receiving spousal as well.

Temporary and permanent spousal support

For spouses with no income, the court may award temporary spousal support for the duration of the divorce process. These payments may be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the needs of the receiving spouse.

Permanent spousal support is not actually permanent. It refers to the final reward but is set for a limited time. The idea is that the paying spouse provides support long enough for the receiving spouse to become self-sufficient, and modifications are possible in some cases, such as when someone’s income changes.

Every divorce is different, which is why Georgia treats every request for spousal support with special consideration, but failure to pay may result in a charge of contempt of court and subsequent arrest.