Understanding Alimony in Georgia

Alimony is the financial support one spouse pays to another after a divorce. It was developed as a way to provide an extra source of income to support one spouse during the time it takes to gain financial stability.

In 2011, 31% of single-mother households were living in poverty. In contrast, 37% of married mothers had a higher income than their husbands*. These findings illustrate how important it is for women to find a divorce attorney who will consult with them on the intricacies of alimony payments.

Understanding alimony is essential for both men and women that are getting a divorce in Georgia. It’s hard to know exactly how much alimony one might receive because of the number of considerations that take place. To give you a better idea, our family law attorneys broke it down into three categories so you can understand how Georgia alimony works.

Three Types of Alimony in Georgia

  1. Rehabilitative alimony, or temporary alimony, is money that is paid to a spouse for a short period of time.
  2. Permanent alimony is money that is paid to a spouse for an indefinite period of time until changed by a court order.
  3. Lump sum alimony is a non-modifiable payment that is received all at once (or in payments).

Aspects Considered by the Superior Court

If both spouses cannot come to an agreement on the amount of money to be paid, then the Superior Court will decide the amount based on these factors:

  • How long the couple has been married
  • The potential income of both the husband and wife
  • The standard of living during marriage
  • The time it might take for a spouse to find employment
  • The amount of value each spouse contributed to the marital estate

Qualifying for Alimony in Georgia

The Superior Court must determine that a spouse has a need for financial assistance before granting alimony. It must also be determined that the spouse paying the alimony is able to pay the amount. Here are a few reasons why a spouse would qualify for alimony:

  • An individual is not able to support him or herself financially
  • An individual has been married for a long period of time without a job
  • An individual’s spouse is the sole or primary source of income

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Alimony

Have a plan in place for any alimony requests. When you’re asking for alimony, judges like to see plans for getting off the alimony. Having a plan in place which describes how you’ll be able to increase your earning capacity is compelling.

For instance, if you want to finish two more years of nursing school, you will need to have tuition costs, books, and expenses while attending school presented for the judge. The judge will not only give you the alimony you need for regular living expenses, but also rehabilitative alimony which would include the costs of getting you back the time in the workplace you lost while you were at home taking care of your family.


We recommend considering alimony as an option to prepare for your financial needs after a divorce. The amount of alimony you receive will be decided in court, and representing yourself can be a very complicated process. If you feel that you will be unable to support yourself after a divorce, hire an attorney specializing in divorce and family law to help you maximize the amount of alimony you can receive.

Contact the Atlanta Divorce & Family Law Attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today

At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, we specialize in divorce and family law in Atlanta, Georgia since 1988. Our dedicated team is here to protect your rights so we can get you the alimony you deserve.

We have four convenient offices located in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Marietta. To schedule a consultation today, call us at (678) 971-3413 or click here to complete a contact form.

Source: *Kim Parker, Paul Taylor, & Wendy Wang. (May 29, 2013). Breadwinner Moms.
Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends. Retrieved from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/29/breadwinner-moms/#fn-17132-1