Although paying alimony can feel like a punishment, that is not its purpose. Instead, it works to help the lower-earning spouse achieve self-sufficiency if possible. The length of marriage, age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, needs of each party, property settlement, and whether the custodial parent should work are matters that will be taken into account when making these decisions. If one party has committed a fault such as adultery, he or she may be legally prohibited from receiving alimony. Since alimony awards are subjective, it is critical to have experienced professional representation.
The two types of alimony payments are lump sum and periodic.
Lump sum alimony may be paid according to a schedule or upon the occurrence of certain events. Lump sum alimony is not subject to modification.
Periodic alimony is paid according to a schedule, whether it is weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. It is subject to modification for a number of reasons, including change in financial circumstances. It may also be subject to termination for remarriage by the recipient party or the recipient party having a live-in lover.
Alimony can be awarded to either party, but if no alimony is awarded at the final hearing, it can not be awarded afterwards.
If the payor of the alimony is not paying as ordered, then the receiver can file a contempt action to obtain past-due spousal support.
Alimony arrears may also be collected by QDRO's (qualified domestic relations orders) addressed against assets of the payor spouse, including retirement accounts.
With over twenty-five years of experience, NMS Law Firm is ready to help you assess your entitlement to alimony or to defend against a claim of alimony. If you need help in northeast Georgia, contact us today.