Finding out your spouse cheated on you can result in an emotional turmoil. If you and your spouse have decided to end the marriage on the basis of adultery, you may be wondering how and if adultery can affect any aspect of divorce. This article provides an overview of alimony in state of Georgia, and how adultery can impact the alimony award. If you still have questions and concerns after reading this article, then feel free to consult your local family law attorney.
Overview of Alimony in Georgia
In the state of Georgia, alimony is financial support paid from one spouse (higher earning spouse) to the other spouse during and after divorce proceeding. In Georgia, to be granted alimony, the recipient spouse is required to show the need for financial support and the ability of the spouse to pay the financial support. After the need and the ability to pay have been proven, court will take several factors into account to decide whether alimony should be awarded or not. Additionally, the court, on the basis of the factors listed below decides the amount of alimony:
- The spouses’ standard of living during the marriage
- The duration of the marriage
- Age and physical condition of each spouse
- Each spouse’s financial resources and earning capacity
- Amount of time it will take for the supported spouse to get back to work, if the spouse is not presently working.
- Each spouse’s contributions during the marriage
In state of Georgia, there is no established formula for calculating alimony in Georgia. Alimony in Georgia is determined on case-by-case basis by the court, but can agreed upon in an uncontested divorce, mediation or though an agreement between the parties.
Types of Alimony in Georgia
- Rehabilitative Alimony: Money paid to the spouse for short amount of time to help the spouse get back on his or her fee
- Permanent Alimony: Money paid to a spouse for an indefinite period of time until changed by a court order.
- Lump Sum Alimony: non-modifiable payment that is received all at once (or in payments).
Adultery in Divorce
In Georgia, adultery is defined as an act of one spouse having sexual relations with another person, outside of marriage. To prove your spouse has committed adultery, spouse’s testimony, or any evidence, such as videos, photographs, phone records, including the findings of private investigators will be required.
Impact of Adultery on Alimony
When adultery is the cause of divorce, the unfaithful spouse can be barred from receiving any alimony. Nonetheless, this may not be the case in an event that the unfaithful spouse has been forgiven by the faithful spouse. Alimony is only barred on the ground of adultery, if the faithful spouse has filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Filing a divorce on the basis of “irreconcilable differences” is simply not enough.
Impact of Adultery on a Divorce Settlement
Adultery does have an impact on negotiation of divorce settlement. Statistically, divorce cases are likely to settle over 90 percent of times or more in most jurisdictions. However, in an adultery cases, a cheating spouse often feels guilty in aftermath of discovery or confession. The emotional stance of each party coming into negotiation can certainly affect the terms of the divorce settlement. If a spouse is unfaithful during the settlement process, the unfaithful spouse is unlikely to be awarded much in a divorce settlement. A reasonable person may presume that because the unfaithful spouse cheated, they should be awarded more during settlement, however this is often not the case.
Does Adultery Impact Anything Else?
Generally, adultery does not affect child custody in Georgia, unless the children are exposed to inappropriate things as a result of the affair. In state of Georgia, adultery does not affect child support. However, adultery can have an impact on how divorcing couple’s assets are divided. This is especially true if the unfaithful spouse spent lot of money on the new partner, as to buying gifts and planning for trips and spending money on hotel rooms.
Whether you or your spouse has been unfaithful, you are advised to consult your lawyer when seeking a divorce. If you are interested in seeking alimony, make sure your lawyer is well aware of your situation, so that they can be best prepared to help resolve your case. It is always advised to be honest with your lawyer up front, so there are no surprises in the end, if the case does go to trial.
If you are facing divorce and alimony, adultery or other factors are at issue, call us today at 770-609-1247 to speak with one of our experienced Alpharetta divorce and family law attorneys.