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Does military service affect your alimony obligation?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2021 | Military Divorce

Military service can be rewarding. Yet, it can make certain areas of your life more challenging than they may otherwise be. One such area may be your marriage, especially if you are often away on active duty, or if you move frequently for new assignments. If your marriage has not withstood the demands of military life, you will need to make special considerations when getting divorced. Among these considerations is your alimony obligation, and it is important to understand how your military career could affect it.

The factors that affect alimony in Georgia

Your military service will not affect your spouse’s alimony award, except that its value cannot exceed 50% of your disposable income. Rather, if you are seeking a divorce in Georgia, your obligation will depend on numerous factors under state law. Among these factors are:

  • The economic and noneconomic contributions you and your spouse made to your marriage
  • The financial resources available to you and your spouse
  • The length of your marriage and your marital standard of living
  • Whether marital misconduct committed by you or your spouse is a factor in your divorce
  • Whether your spouse needs education or training to become self-supporting and how long it will take them to acquire it
  • Your and your spouse’s age, physical health and emotional health
  • Your and your spouse’s financial health

The relationship between military service and alimony

One area where your alimony obligation will differ from those of civilians is its enforcement. Not only can your spouse seek to garnish your earnings, they can request an involuntary allotment – which could affect both your basic and special pay – if you are more than two months in arrears. If your arrearage continues, it could lead to discipline.

Keep in mind that, as a service member, you have protections against civil suits while on active duty. If, in this case, you are in arrears on alimony and your spouse files a legal action against you, you can request to postpone proceedings for 90 days. You may qualify for an additional 90-day postponement as needed, though you cannot use these stays to evade your obligation.

Understanding your alimony obligation can be difficult, especially as an active duty service member. To make sure you satisfy it, you will want to seek help from a family law attorney with experience in military divorces.