When a couple gets married, they share responsibilities, assets, and debts. In many cases, one of the spouses earns more than the other. But the efficiency gained by sharing responsibilities and income is disrupted when a marriage ends in divorce, particularly when you consider the need for separate homes or where one spouse's main contribution was unpaid domestic work. That is why courts recognize the need for spousal support (or alimony) in many divorce cases, beyond the initial division of property and assets. Each state has its own approach to how alimony is determined, usually based on each spouse's needs, current income, childcare responsibilities, and other factors.
Georgia Alimony Laws at a Glance
Georgia courts recognize both "temporary" and "permanent" alimony, as well as lump sum payments in some instances, but it's important to understand what these terms really mean. Permanent alimony -- though rare -- may be awarded for older (retired, for instance) individuals or those who otherwise have poor employment prospects. Even when so ordered, permanent alimony may be revisited in the event the recipient is remarried, able to earn a sufficient income, or otherwise financially sound.
Temporary alimony, meanwhile, may be awarded during the divorce proceedings and thus subject to modification upon finalization of the divorce. But Georgia courts also award temporary alimony after the divorce. This is the most common form of alimony in Georgia, ordered for a specific period of time as a way of helping the recipient spouse remain solvent while they seek job training or some kind of financial stability.
Learn more about Georgia's alimony laws in the following table.
Georgia Code § 19-6-1 et seq.
|Statutory Definition of Alimony
Alimony is an allowance out of one party's estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately. It is either temporary or permanent.
|Factors Considered by the Court When Determining Alimony
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
- The financial resources of each party;
- Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
- The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
- Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.
|Eligibility for Permanent Alimony
- In cases of divorce;
- In cases of voluntary separation; or
- Where one spouse, against the will of that spouse, is abandoned or driven off by the other spouse.
Permanent alimony obligations automatically terminate upon the recipient's remarriage (unless otherwise arranged).
|Death of the Party Liable for Alimony
The recipient is not entitled to further interest in the estate by virtue of the marriage contract, but permanent alimony provisions will continue (often as an equivalent portion of the estate).
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Georgia Alimony Laws: Related Resources
Have Georgia Alimony Questions? A Divorce Attorney Can Help
If you're considering filing for divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, you will want to learn as much about the process as you can. But there's no substitute for a good attorney, who will represent your best interests when negotiating alimony and other terms. Get in touch with a Georgia divorce attorney today.