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Is alimony required when divorce was the other person's fault?

In Georgia, the grounds for divorce include adultery, addiction, uncurable mental illness and an irretrievably broken marriage. Many people cite the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage rather than delve into potentially embarrassing situations. That said, adultery, cruel treatment and desertion do get cited fairly often.

Alimony may come into play when one of the spouses would have difficulty supporting himself or herself, especially in the same standard of living as the marriage. If you are getting divorced because of an act that your partner committed, it can be frustrating to think that you may have to pay alimony when he or she is the one who did something wrong. So, will you actually have to pay alimony?

It depends

Judges decide alimony in Georgia on a case-by-case basis, so it can be difficult to give clear answers on whether you will need to pay alimony. That said, one spouse's behavior (or both spouses' behavior) is a legally acceptable reason to decrease or eliminate alimony. For example, if you can prove adultery, the odds of you paying much less alimony or perhaps even no alimony at all go up.

However, proving that your spouse was unfaithful can be difficult. It starts with the fact that, to many people, adultery can include kissing, emotional love and the like, whether or not the affair necessarily progress to intercourse. Unfortunately, the legal definition of adultery is sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse, and you may need witnesses, credit card statements, photos and much more to make your case. You do not need to show your spouse committing the actual act of intercourse, but you should demonstrate the inclination and opportunity.

Furthermore, the cheating must be a huge driving factor behind the end of your marriage. Thus, if your spouse cheated, but you took him or her back to try to work on things for a year, that probably would not count in a legal sense.

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