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Alimony (Spousal Maintenance) in Georgia

Alimony (also commonly known as spousal maintenance or spousal support) was not even recognized under Georgia law prior to 1980. The Divorce Code of 1980 provides that alimony may be awarded by a court in its discretion “if it finds that alimony is necessary.”

Alimony in Georgia is not a remedy that is construed as broadly as it is in many other states, and it is far from being routinely awarded. There are no actual guidelines to determine its eligibility, nor a formula upon which a court relies to calculate a precise amount.

There are two types of alimony in Georgia, rehabilitative and permanent. The former is construed as more of a short-term arrangement recognizing that one of the ex-spouses – most often one who took the role of a homemaker and raised the children – might need assistance to go back to school or obtain skills to get a job. The latter more often applies when one of the parties is unable to work owing to an illness, or when the marriage that has ended was lengthy.

If a court determines that alimony should be granted, its award will be guided by factors that are enumerated by state statute and that include:

•    The length of the marriage

•    The income and financial resources of each party

•    The ages of the parties, and their physical and emotional conditions

•    The education level of each party

•    The standard of living during the marriage

Where alimony is a concern, and especially because it is discretionary with a judge and there are no specific guidelines for determining eligibility, a party might reasonably wish to secure the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

Related Resource: “Alimony/Maintenance/Spousal Support in Georgia Divorce