Friday, September 18, 2009

Alimony: "The Bill You Get For the Thrill You Got!"

Lewis Grizzard, my favorite Southern humorist, wasn't immune from the divorce bug. But he had a special way of making even the topics of divorce and alimony funny! The hardest I ever laughed in my life was while watching Grizzard's stand-up act which he performed in an old tobacco barn in Moultrie, Georgia.
However, we all know that divorce and alimony are no laughing matter! You may need alimony, (or to avoid alimony), to survive. If you are contemplating a divorce, you should discuss this important issue with your divorce attorney. Do you know some of the factors that a Georgia court will consider in setting the amount of permanent alimony? The Georgia courts generally consider the needs of the parties and ability to pay. Among other factors, the court will consider, (as found in O.C.G.A. 19-6-5):
1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
2. The duration of the marriage;
3. The age and physical and emotional condition of both parties;
4. The financial resources of each party;
5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire education or job training;
6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, (e.g. homemaking, child care, contribution to
the education or career building of the other party; and
7. The condition of the parties, including any separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed
You may not have been aware of these factors, but I'll bet you were aware that, generally, the obligation to pay alimony stops when the recipient remarries.
Of course, Lewis Grizzard had another idea about alimony and remarriage. As Grizzard concluded, "I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house!"

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