Under Georgia law, alimony may be awarded in a divorce action "to either party in accordance with the needs of the party and the ability of the other party to pay," taking in account "the conduct of each party toward the other." OCGA §19-6-1(c). There are eight factors that must be considered in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded. OCGA §19-6-5(a). The fifth factor to be considered is "[t]he time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment." OCGA §19-6-5(a)(5). This factor often applies where you have a spouse who stayed at home with the children during the marriage and, thus, did not have a traditional job. In this situation, for example, that spouse may not have the computer skills necessary to obtain employment, especially if he/she has been out of the workforce for an extended time. The judge may, therefore, award alimony for a period of time that would allow that spouse to acquire the skills necessary to obtain "appropriate employment." The idea here is that, once that spouse has the training or education required, he/she should then be able to obtain appropriate employment and support himself/herself without alimony.
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