How Long Do You Have Pay Alimony in a Georgia Divorce?


For divorcing couples, there are few issues that are more contentious than alimony. To make matters even more challenging, there are many misconceptions regarding the alimony laws in Georgia. Many people simply have no idea whether or not they have to pay alimony at all, let alone the amount and the length of the payments. Ultimately, all alimony-related questions must be answered on a case-by-case basis. There are many different individual factors that must be assessed before an alimony award can be determined. Still, our top-rated Winder divorce attorneys can give some general guidance on questions of alimony.

Types of Alimony in Georgia

Under the Georgia state legal code (Section 19-6-1), there are several different types of alimony. Depending on the type of alimony that is awarded in your case, the payments may either be permanent, temporary or one-time. More specifically, you may be ordered to pay, or granted to receive, any of the following forms of spousal support:

  • Permanent alimony: If awarded, this type of alimony will generally last until one party passes away or until the receiving spouse gets remarried. There are some other circumstances in which a Georgia family law court could decide that a modification of the alimony award is appropriate, however, so even permanent alimony isn’t always “permanent”.
  • Temporary alimony: In many cases, Georgia courts award alimony for a set period of time. If temporary alimony is awarded in your case, the amount and length of the award will vary depending on the specific facts of your case.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to help the receiving spouse adjust to the economic realities of post-marriage life. Typically, Georgia courts award rehabilitative alimony to help the economically disadvantaged partner to get on a good economic footing, usually by paying for school or job training. By its very nature, rehabilitative alimony is always temporary.

The Factors that Affect Alimony Calculations

Many different factors can affect alimony awards in Georgia. The amount of alimony owed and the duration of the alimony will always require a close examination of the individual circumstances of the case at hand. Six of the most important factors that courts will consider when crafting alimony awards are as follows:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The current financial circumstances of each spouse, including ability to pay and the reasonably anticipated future financial needs;
  • The overall standard of living that was established during the course of the marriage;
  • The health and age of each spouse;
  • The reason why the marriage broke up; and
  • The parental contributions, if any, of each party.

To ensure that your family law rights and your financial interests are fully protected, you should always be represented by a qualified divorce attorney during any alimony dispute.

Contact Our Georgia Alimony Attorneys Today

At Mitchell & Crunk, we have extensive experience handling complex divorce and alimony cases. No matter your situation, our team is here to help. To request a free initial review of your case, please contact our law firm today. From our offices in Winder and Commerce, we represent family law clients throughout the region, including in Barrow County, Jackson County, and Clarke County.