Are you getting a divorce in Georgia? If so, you may be ordered to make alimony payments to your ex. Or, they may be ordered to pay alimony to you.

Alimony is financial support that may be awarded when one party can’t support themselves without help from the other. For example, maybe one spouse was the sole earner for a family while the other spent years taking care of the kids and tending to the home. The spouse who wasn’t earning money for the family might have spent years without a job. They also might not have sought the education or training necessary to optimize their employability.

A spouse who has been out of the workforce for a while or has limited training may have limited ability to support themselves after a divorce. A family court might order the other spouse to pay alimony in these circumstances.

Whether you’re paying or receiving alimony, you might wonder how long alimony payments last. There’s no universal answer to your question. Family courts account for various factors when determining how long someone should make alimony payments. This overview will cover what you need to know. Just be aware that hiring a qualified spousal support attorney can improve the odds of the court coming to a decision that’s fair for all involved.

What Types of Alimony are Available in Georgia?

Before learning about how long alimony payments last in Georgia, you should be familiar with the different types of alimony in our state.

Types of alimony that exist under Georgia law include:

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is often granted when a marriage lasted for a considerably long amount of time. It may also be granted when there is a significant difference between the financial circumstances or employability of two spouses getting divorced from one another.

Permanent alimony payments theoretically last until one spouse dies or the spouse receiving the payments remarries. However, there are circumstances when courts may choose to modify an alimony award. In other words, the fact that it’s called “permanent” alimony doesn’t mean it always actually is permanent.

Temporary or Periodic Alimony

This type of alimony involves making payments over an established period of time. The next section of this guide will explain the factors that may influence how long that period of time is.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Adjusting to life after divorce when one has grown accustomed to relying on their partner for financial stability can be difficult. Thus, courts sometimes order spouses to pay rehabilitative alimony. This is a form of alimony that serves to help someone recover financially or improve their employability after a divorce.

For example, rehabilitative alimony may cover the cost of schooling or job training. This type of alimony is almost always temporary.

Factors Influencing the Length of Alimony Support in Georgia

The main factor a court will usually consider when determining how long alimony payments will last in Georgia is the length of the marriage. Family courts sometimes use the “one year of alimony for every three years of marriage rule of thumb,” but that’s not always the case. Family courts generally treat every divorce case as unique when determining how long alimony payments last.

Other factors a court may consider include the following:

  • The financial circumstances of both spouses
  • The employability of both spouses
  • The standard of living that had been established for a spouse during a marriage
  • The health and ages of the spouses
  • The reason for a divorce
  • The ability of either spouse to continue paying alimony
  • The degree to which each spouse contributes to raising and caring for their children (if any)

Because many factors are involved when determining how long alimony payments last, reaching a decision on this issue can be challenging for a court. This is one of the many reasons it helps to have a strong lawyer when getting a divorce in Georgia. An attorney who is familiar with the details of a case can explain to a judge why a certain type of alimony and a certain length of alimony payments are appropriate given the circumstances.

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.