Alimony vs. Spousal Support

MLF Team

What is the difference between Alimony and Spousal support?

Alimony, maintenance payments, spousal support, or support payments simply refer to the amount and frequency of payments made by an ex-spouse in order to support the other their ex-partner after divorce. 

Alimony and spousal support are used interchangeably. Alimony, coming from the Latin word Alimonia (meaning nutriment) is the older, more traditional term used to describe support payments. Some do still think that alimony refers to when a man supports a wife after a divorce. However spousal support is the modern term that is gender-neutral to describe financial support following a divorce. In Georgia, most courts use the term spousal support, however, the Georgia code still refers to financial support as alimony. 

In Georgia, a court can deny a request for alimony if the party requesting alimony had an affair that was the cause of the divorce. Thus, the fault or the cause for separation is the most essential factor in the judge’s decision regarding alimony. 

In other cases, where none neither of the parties committed adultery or desertion, alimony or spousal support will be decided by a judge according to one’s party financial needs to support a household and the other party’s ability to support the payments. 

There are several factors that a judge takes into account when deciding on the amount for alimony, including: