Spousal Support & Alimony

Learn About Alimony Or Spousal Support Laws In Georgia

Eligibility For Spousal Support

Spousal support in Georgia is the equivalent to what is traditionally called alimony. Spousal support is an item separate from child support.

Alimony in Georgia is not a guaranteed part of the your divorce. Circumstances such as adultery or abandonment nullify the spouses rights to request spousal support. Typically spousal support is awarded for a spouse ending a long term marriage (10+ years) where one spouse has minimal income earning potential.

Eligibility Factors For Spousal Support

  • Living standards while living together
  • Length of time married
  • Receiving spouse’s age, earning potential, physical condition
  • Paying spouse’s earning capacity, financial situation, debts
  • Contributions to the marriage of value but not income producing
  • Calculating Spousal Support Amounts

Spousal Support payments are at the court's discretion.Spousal support payments are calculated and awarded by the court. There are no set formulas for calculating spousal support in Georgia.The financial support calculation process could be considered to be subjective and arbitrary. The basis for any award of support (alimony) is generally based on “the needs of one spouse” and “the ability to pay by the other spouse”. See the factors listed on this page under eligibility.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary support is often awarded while a divorce process is being managed. This could be especially important when a spouse has no income source and will be living alone. Temporary support payments may be ordered to be paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent support is a misnomer as this is usually awarded for only a limited duration of time. It is almost a certainty that spousal support will be for a limited period of time. The general thought is that this money is provided for a period of time that allows the spouse to become self sufficient. Even if long term support is awarded the amount may be reduced through a support modification request.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last

The duration of support payments varies. It may be time based such as 1/3 the length of the marriage, or based on the amount of time it may take the receiving spouse to develop an income stream. Paying support can end abruptly through a divorce modification process if the paying spouse can prove the situation of the receiving spouse has dramatically improved (i.e., wins a lottery, receives a large inheritance, new marriage, etc.) The person paying support may be able to modify the amount of monthly payments by proving chronic financial hardship.

Spousal Support Modifications

Support Modification is a hot topic throughout the time period where support payments are required. Often, a person’s income changes substantially which directly impacts the “need for” or “ability to pay” financial support. If this is the case in your life you will be interested in our divorce modification services.

Contempt For Non-Payment Of Support

Failure to pay any court mandated support is cause for arrest on charges of contempt of court. It is not uncommon for a support payment to be late however; habitual payment problems or deliberate refusal to pay can result in jail time or garnishment of wages.


For more information on alimony or spousal support in Georgia you should contact us to arrange for a consultation with an attorney. You may also want to read more online about alimony laws in Georgia.