Spousal Support

Alimony in a divorce is not automatic. If awarded it can be temporary or permanent. We can help you to understand alimony laws in Georgia.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal Support, also known as alimony, refers to monthly payments a person pays to their ex-spouse after a divorce is made final. Alimony is a form of equitable distribution of income and wealth, and is not awarded as a punitive measure.

When is Alimony Awarded?

Alimony is most often awarded when a long-term marriage ends. This is especially true if one spouse makes the majority of the household income, or has a retirement account, pension or related benefits. Alimony may be terminated or changed via a support modification.

There are two types of spousal support.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is temporary spousal support. This is the most common form of spousal support. It is designed to give a spouse an ability to "get on their feet" and establish an independent life.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is becoming more difficult to get in a divorce. An example of when permanent alimony might be appropriate is: a long-term spouse with poor employment potential is divorcing from a spouse with substantial income.

What is the Purpose of Alimony?

Alimony is designed to financially assist a disadvantaged ex-spouse after divorce. A spouse may be awarded monthly payments, and claims to retirement funds, social security benefits, military pensions and similar income.

Consequences of Adultery in Divorce

In Georgia, a person confirmed to have committed adultery loses all rights to petition for spousal support. In Georgia, specific standards must be met in order to prove infidelity. If adultery can be proven it also has a direct impact on the equitable distribution of marital property.

How is Alimony Calculated

There are no formal rules or guidelines for calculating alimony in Georgia. The presiding judge will consider numerous factors to make a determination on whether or not spousal support should be awarded. Factors that may affect decisions regarding alimony payments are:

  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Length of marriage
  • Financial resources of the parties
  • Earning potential of the otherwise disadvantaged person
  • Contribution to the marriage by the other person
  • Financial assets held in the marriage

Need help or information? Call 770-426-9359