Are you going to pay or receive alimony as a part of your divorce? It depends. In general necessity of the recipient and the ability to pay of the payor are controlling factors to be considered in making an allowance for alimony; both temporary or permanent. Robertson v. Robertson, 207 Ga. 686, 63 S.E.2d 876 (1951); Wills v. Wills, 215 Ga. 556, 111 S.E.2d 355 (1959).

While it is more common for women to receive alimony from men, there is no prohibition from a husband receiving alimony from a wife Dan has handled both types of cases.

The Term alimony comes from a Latin word which mainly means to nourish; that is, to supply the necessities of life. Lloyd v. Lloyd, 183 Ga. 751, 189 S.E. 903 (1937). In general, the non-monied spouse’s current ability to earn income is one of the factors considered in awarding alimony. Pierce v. Pierce, 241 Ga. 96, 243 S.E.2d 46 (1978). However, all of the factors to determine the amount of alimony can be found in O.C.G.A § 19-6-5:

● The standard of living established during the marriage (opulent or modest)
● The duration of the marriage
● The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties (is he or she in good health and able to work)
● The financial resources of each party (was he/she a stay at home parent, is he/she on a fixed income or in his or her prime earning years)
● The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment. Did he or she give up a job or career so that they will now need additional schooling or certifications to resume working?
● The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
● The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties.
● Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper

Remember that the purpose of alimony is to provide support for either party as needed and also for minor children. The amount of alimony is to be determined from consideration of needs and ability to pay. McCurry v. McCurry, 223 Ga. 334, 155 S.E.2d 378 (1967).

However, the conduct of both of the parties may also be considered by the jury in awarding alimony. Phillips v. Phillips, 231 Ga. 596 (203 SE2d 189) (1974).

O.C.G.A. § 19-6-1 PROVIDES THAT A PARTY SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ALIMONY IF SEPARATION WAS CAUSED BY THAT PARTY’S ADULTERY, and that in alimony cases the court shall receive evidence of the factual cause of the separation and the conduct of each party toward the other. Owens v. Owens, 247 Ga. 137, 274 S.E.2d 484 (1981).