There are two types of alimony that may be awarded by the court in Georgia. Temporary Alimony is based on relative inequalities of income between the spouses and may be awarded early in the divorce process. It serves to maintain the family household while the divorce is pending, and to level the playing field when one spouse has more income than the other through an award of temporary attorney's fees. Permanent Alimony is that which is in place after the divorce is final. In a contested case, the party seeking alimony will have a much better claim if they can prove that the other spouse is at-fault for the divorce. If there is no at-fault basis for the divorce, the court may not award alimony, but an at-fault basis is not required. There are many factors involved in the court's determination of whether alimony will be granted. However, in an uncontested case that settles by agreement, Permanent Alimony will only be paid if a spouse agrees to pay it, whether there is an at-fault basis or not.
In the case of a short-term marriage, even if there is an at-fault basis for the divorce, there may be minimal alimony awarded, or possibly none at all. If there is no alimony agreement, and the decision to pursue alimony by going to trial is considered, the cost of litigation must be weighed against the likely outcome. When both parties are gainfully employed and earning similar incomes, an award of alimony in a contested case becomes further unlikely.
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