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Alimony is support paid by one former spouse to the other and is based on numerous legal factors, the most important being the needs of the recipient and the payor’s financial ability to provide support.

Alimony in Georgia is typically a monthly amount of cash paid by the former higher earning or higher asset spouse to the other spouse for a certain number of months to financially support the recipient after the divorce.  But, alimony can also include a lump sum of cash (“lump sum alimony”) or the transfer of property, such as a house (“alimony in kind”). Lump sum alimony and alimony in kind are much less common than monthly alimony (also known as “periodic alimony”). As of January 1, 2019, alimony is no longer taxed as income to the recipient and is no longer tax deductible by the payor. 

Alimony is not guaranteed and is not based on a formula (in those respects, alimony is very different from child support). Rather, alimony is based on the consideration of several legal factors. Most important of those factors is the “need” of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay. There must be both need and ability to pay for there to be an award of alimony.

Alimony rules in Georgia typically end if the recipient remarries or dies. 

Alimony may be reduced by a judge if the alimony recipient enters  into  a “meretricious relationship,” meaning the recipient lives with another person and has a sexual relationship with that person or shares expenses with that person, or both. This statute is often referred to as the “live in lover” law. See O.C.G.A. 19-6-19(b).

Georgia Alimony Laws

In addition to “need” and “ability to pay,” Georgia law sets out the following factors to be considered in making an alimony determination:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. The duration of the marriage;
  3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
  4. The financial resources of each party;
  5. Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment;
  6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
  7. The financial condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
  8. Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.

See O.C.G.A. 19-6-5.

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