Many things change when a couple gets divorced. One thing that can vary significantly is the financial circumstances of each spouse. A divorce can potentially leave one spouse without any income at all and potentially a very low earning capacity. For instance, this is common in families where one spouse has stayed home to raise children while the other works or goes to school for their career. Alimony can temporarily help even out this financial imbalance while the other spouse gets on their own two feet. The big question is, “how long do I have to pay alimony? 

Whether you want to receive alimony or will be paying alimony, you are likely wondering how long alimony will last. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, when you hire a compassionate Duluth family law attorney to represent your interests, you can be assured that your rights are protected.

How Courts Determine Alimony Duration

The duration of the marriage is the primary factor Georgia family courts use to determine how long a spouse should receive or pay alimony. Family court judges frequently subscribe to the “one year of alimony for every three years of marriage” rule of thumb but not always. Every divorce case is unique, just like every marriage and family is unique. Family courts treat them as such when determining how long alimony payments last.

Other significant factors judges might consider to help determine the duration of alimony include:

  • The financial circumstances of both spouses
  • The employability of both spouses
  • The standard of living established during their marriage
  • The health and ages of each spouse
  • The reason they are divorcing
  • The ability of either spouse to continue paying alimony
  • The degree to which each spouse contributes to raising and caring for their children (if any)

Since several factors determine how long alimony payments last, deciding on this issue can be difficult for a court. However, having an experienced Duluth family law lawyer on your side can help ensure you get fair treatment, whether you are paying or receiving alimony. For example, your lawyer can explain to a judge why a particular type of alimony and a specific duration of alimony payments are suitable given your circumstances.

Can Alimony Be Modified?

Georgia family courts consider the alimony orders final upon issuing a divorce decree. However, they do know that circumstances can change that may require one or both spouses to request a modification to their alimony. For instance, if the paying spouse lost their job or had another child or the receiving spouse gets remarried or finds a well-paying job, the courts may agree to change the amount or duration of alimony.

Questions about Alimony? Contact a Skilled Duluth Family Law Attorney Today

Don’t risk your alimony orders to just anyone. Instead, enlist the help of a skilled Duluth family law lawyer from Banks, Stubbs & McFarland. We work hard to understand every aspect of your situation and provide you with the representation you need, whether you will receive or pay alimony.

Schedule a case consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling 404-301-7980 or completing our online form.