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Understanding temporary and permanent alimony in Georgia

Spousal support is intended to be used to provide a lesser-earning spouse (in most cases) with support while he or she regains the ability to earn substantial income and support him or herself. For the most part, spousal support is no longer permanent, meaning that there is an end date for any spousal support order. However, remember that Georgia does still recognize the need for permanent alimony, so individuals who have been in a long-term marriage may find that permanent alimony is a possibility.

If you don't want to pay permanent alimony to a spouse, one possibility is to instead pay out a lump sum. With lump-sum payments, you make a single payment to your spouse to resolve anything you owe him or her. Keep in mind that this isn't always a good idea, because even permanent alimony can be revisited after it's ordered and may require modification. For example, if your spouse receives permanent alimony but then remarries, you may be able to have the court release you from that obligation through a modification request.

Temporary alimony is more common in divorce. This alimony is normally paid for a short time to allow the other party to obtain financial stability. He or she may require support while going back to school or finding a job, for example, but the court can limit that alimony to a set time period.

Whether you're interested in obtaining alimony or think your spouse will want it, it's a good idea to invest time into understanding your legal rights. A little help goes a long way during divorce.

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