Georgia Alimony Law | Spousal Support

In Georgia, post-divorce spousal support, which is often referred to as alimony, can be awarded for a number of reasonsand to either party. Unlike child support, there are no state requirements for spousal support awards in divorce. In general, it is intended to take into account the contributions of spouses, either male or female, based on one party’s needs and the other party’s ability to pay.

In Georgia, alimony is not a right, but it can be appropriate in certain situations and awarded over time or in one lump sum after a divorce settlement. In order to determine eligibility, courts consider a number of issues, including the needs, income, and assets of each spouse.

How Does a Judge Determine Georgia Spousal Support Amounts?

When determining whether alimony is to be awarded, courts look at a variety of criteria, including:

  • The standard of living enjoyed by the couple
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The income and assets of each spouse, including retirement accounts
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • How long would it take to retrain the non-working spouse
  • The age of each spouse at the end of the divorce

Types of Alimony in Georgia

Many people don’t know that alimony payments may be temporary – or permanent. Alimony in GA can be structured in a few ways:

  • Temporary Alimony: May be categorized as rehabilitative alimony, designed to help a non-working spouse gain job skills and train in a new field if necessary. This form of temporary alimony ends at a specified time or when specific goals are met.
  • Permanent Alimony: Typically terminates upon death or remarriage, or when the recipient has what is sometimes called a “live-in lover.”
  • Lump Sum Alimony: Provides a one-time, non-modifiable lump sum amount.
  • Periodic Alimony: Works best for people when they don’t pay a lump sum. Some people who receive alimony tend to prefer the “regular income” of a periodic alimony payment.

Other important GA alimony facts to consider:

  • Unlike child support, no state requirements for spousal support awards in divorce exist.
  • Alimony is generally not available in situations where both spouses worked during the marriage and can support themselves.
  • If granted, alimony is enforceable by either an action for contempt, or by garnishment and execution on property.
  • With the new tax law, alimony is no longer taxable to the recipient nor deductible to the payer.

Alimony is not guaranteed, and the process is somewhat complex. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced Atlanta divorce attorney to work on your behalf to maximize your chances of achieving your alimony goals.

Whether you are seeking alimony in your divorce or opposing it, Atlanta divorce lawyer Nancy Ghertner can assist you. Call our Atlanta family law firm to set up an appointment for a consultation. We are located in Sandy Springs at the top of the Perimeter.


“During various life events, I had to seek the counsel of an attorney.  To this date, Nancy Ghertner is the most impressive attorney that I have ever hired.  Nancy is diligent at securing the best results for her clients, professionally personable, intelligent, ethical, and reasonably priced for her services. But, most of all, I felt that she very sincerely personally cares about her clients. If I ever need to seek legal counsel again, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call Nancy as many of my friends and family members have done”

S H, Cumming, GA

Wanted to thank you for all your advice and instruction.  You were so kind and thoughtful.  I am so fortunate that we crossed paths.  My divorce was final 12-30 and now I can work on moving forward with a healthy future!  I am keeping you on file for friends and will be happy to refer you.

C.S.-Marietta, GA

“ My first experience in working with Nancy was when she worked with me during my divorce. She took a very pragmatic approach to managing what is a very emotionally charged situation. I knew that together we would get through that difficult time. Because of that experience, I have continued to work with Nancy on all of my personal legal matters since. I have also, and will continue to recommend her to anyone looking for a great attorney.”

J M, Roswell, GA

“I have used Nancy Ghertner for our business legal issues for almost 15 years.  She has been great!  There have been a few legal HR issues over the years that needed legal guidance.  We have also needed support with contracts review, Incorporation transfer work and an occasional client ‘late notice’ document. She is always calm and professional even when I am overwhelmed with an issue.  I cannot imagine ever changing business attorneys.”

JN, CEO, Atlanta Staffing Firm