Support Payments After a Divorce in Georgia

Couples who are married for a long period of time often intertwine their lives in more ways than one. This may be through their finances or even having children together. This is why divorces are often very difficult, as they exist to separate the spouses’ lives from one another. It is because of this that spouses may be required by the court to make support payments. The two main types of support are spousal support and child support. These payments exist to financially support the other party until they are able to become independent and support themselves.

Spousal Support

Often times, couples combine their finances when they get married. Sometimes, this may leave families with a single income home. This means that one spouse has an income while the other is the caretaker of the home and their children. When this happens, one spouse can become completely dependent on the other for financial support. This can make divorce difficult for them, as they do not have an income of their own to support themselves.

It is because of this that the independent spouse may be required to provide the dependent spouse with support payments. This is known as spousal support or alimony. In Georgia, spouses may be appointed to make certain types of alimony payments depending on their marriage and situation. This can include permanent alimony or temporary alimony.

Child Support

When spouses have children together, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support. When a custodial parent is determined, they are the individual with whom the child spends most of their time. This requires them to provide the child with a home, clothes, food, an education, and more. These expenses often add up and become overwhelming for one parent to handle on their own. This is why the non-custodial parent, the one the child does not live with most of the time, is required to financially assist them through child support. These payments allow the child to maintain a similar standard of living that they were used to before the divorce.  

Child support payments are required to be made until the child reaches the age of emancipation. This means they are able to financially support themselves. Generally, the age of emancipation in Georgia is 18 years old. However, it is important to know that there are circumstances under which a court may extend these payments. Situations that can require an extension may be if the child pursues higher education. When this happens, parents may still be required to support their child until they can do so themselves. In order to end child support payments, the parent must petition the court to prove the child is emancipated. If the court agrees, the payments can be terminated.

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