2021 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 6 - Alimony and Child Support
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 19-6-1. Alimony Defined; When Authorized; How Determined; Lien on Estate of Party Dying Prior to Order; Certain Changes in Parties' Assets Prohibited

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-6-1 (2021)
  1. Alimony is an allowance out of one party's estate, made for the support of the other party when living separately. It is either temporary or permanent.
  2. A party shall not be entitled to alimony if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the separation between the parties was caused by that party's adultery or desertion. In all cases in which alimony is sought, the court shall receive evidence of the factual cause of the separation even though one or both of the parties may also seek a divorce, regardless of the grounds upon which a divorce is sought or granted by the court.
  3. In all other cases in which alimony is sought, alimony is authorized, but is not required, to be awarded to either party in accordance with the needs of the party and the ability of the other party to pay. In determining whether or not to grant alimony, the court shall consider evidence of the conduct of each party toward the other.
  4. Should either party die prior to the court's order on the issue of alimony, any rights of the other party to alimony shall survive and be a lien upon the estate of the deceased party.
  5. Pending final determination by the court of the right of either party to alimony, neither party shall make any substantial change in the assets of the party's estate except in the course of ordinary business affairs and except for bona fide transfers for value.

(Orig. Code 1863, § 1688; Code 1868, § 1731; Code 1873, § 1736; Code 1882, § 1736; Civil Code 1895, § 2456; Civil Code 1910, § 2975; Code 1933, § 30-201; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1253, § 4; Ga. L. 1979, p. 466, § 6.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1979, p. 466, § 6, superseded the former version of Code 1933, § 30-201, in that it changed the language of the former section to provide that alimony may be assessed against either spouse. Cases decided prior to the 1979 enactment appear to remain valid except insofar as they may imply that a wife only is entitled to receive alimony or a husband only is obligated to pay alimony.

Law reviews.

- For a survey of Georgia cases in the area of domestic relations from June 1979 through May 1980, see 32 Mercer L. Rev. 51 (1980). For article surveying developments in Georgia domestic relations law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 109 (1981). For survey article on domestic relations, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 113 (1982). For article, "Tax Aspects of Divorce and Separation and the Innocent Spouse Rules," see 3 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 201 (1987). For article, "Georgia's Constitutional Scheme for State Appellate Jurisdiction," see 6 Ga. St. B.J. 24 (2001). For annual survey of domestic relations cases, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 173 (2005). For annual survey of domestic relations law, see 58 Mercer L. Rev. 133 (2006). For annual survey of domestic relations law, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 139 (2007). For annual survey of domestic relations law, see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 121 (2008). For annual survey of law on domestic relations, see 62 Mercer L. Rev. 105 (2010). For note, "Georgia Becomes A Quasi Community Property State," see 17 Ga. St. B.J. 134 (1981). For note, "The Significance of Stokes v. Stokes: An Examination of Property Rights Upon Divorce in Georgia," see 16 Ga. L. Rev. 695 (1982). For comment, "The Georgia Supreme Court's Creation of an Equitable Interest in Marital Property - Yours? Mine? Ours!," see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 449 (1982).



  • General Consideration
  • Valid Marriage Required
  • Factors to Be Considered
  • Temporary Alimony
  • Death of Party


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 24A Am. Jur. 2d, Divorce and Separation, §§ 571 et seq., 587 et seq., 662 et seq., 671 et seq.


- 27B C.J.S., Divorce, § 500 et seq.


- Right to alimony, counsel fees, or suit money in case of invalid marriage, 4 A.L.R. 926; 110 A.L.R. 1283.

Financial condition of parties as affecting allowance of suit money in divorce suit, 35 A.L.R. 1099.

Alimony as affected by remarriage, 64 A.L.R. 1269; 112 A.L.R. 246.

Gratuities or expectations as affecting amount of alimony, 66 A.L.R. 219.

Wife in respect of her right to maintenance or alimony as within protection of statute or rule avoiding conveyances or transfers in fraud of creditors or persons to whom maker is under legal liability, 79 A.L.R. 421.

Power to reopen decree of divorce which is silent as to or expressly provides against alimony so as to permit modification in that regard, 83 A.L.R. 1248.

Retrospective operation of statutes relating to alimony or suit money in divorce, 97 A.L.R. 1188.

Power of court to appoint receiver of future earnings of husband in order to enforce judgment for alimony, 106 A.L.R. 588.

Directing payment of alimony to trustee, 170 A.L.R. 253.

Misconduct of wife to whom divorce is decreed as affecting allowance of alimony, or amount allowed, 9 A.L.R.2d 1026.

Pension of husband as resource which court may consider in determining amount of alimony, 22 A.L.R.2d 1421.

Allowance of permanent alimony to wife against whom divorce is granted, 34 A.L.R.2d 313.

Right to allowance of permanent alimony in connection with decree of annulment, 54 A.L.R.2d 1410.

Husband's right to alimony, maintenance, suit money, or attorneys' fees, 66 A.L.R.2d 880.

Allocation or apportionment of previous combined award of alimony and child support, 78 A.L.R.2d 1110.

Court's establishment of trust to secure alimony or child support in divorce proceedings, 3 A.L.R.3d 1170.

Wife's possession of independent means as affecting her right to alimony pendente lite, 60 A.L.R.3d 728.

Evaluation of interest in law firm or medical partnership for purposes of division of property in divorce proceedings, 74 A.L.R.3d 621.

Provision in divorce decree requiring husband to pay certain percentage of future salary increases as additional alimony or child support, 75 A.L.R.3d 493.

Statute expressly allowing alimony to wife, but not expressly allowing alimony to husband, as unconstitutional sex discrimination, 85 A.L.R.3d 940.

Adulterous wife's right to permanent alimony, 86 A.L.R.3d 97.

Fault as consideration in alimony, spousal support, or property division awards pursuant to no-fault divorce, 86 A.L.R.3d 1116.

Pension or retirement benefits as subject to award or division by court in settlement of property rights between spouses, 94 A.L.R.3d 176.

Spouse's professional degree or license as marital property for purposes of alimony, support, or property settlement, 4 A.L.R.4th 1294.

Husband's death as affecting periodic payment provisions of separation agreement, 5 A.L.R.4th 1153.

Validity and enforceability of escalation clause in divorce decree relating to alimony and child support, 19 A.L.R.4th 830.

Divorce and separation: appreciation in value of separate property during marriage without contribution by either spouse as separate or communal property, 24 A.L.R.4th 453.

Excessiveness or adequacy of amount of money awarded for alimony and child support combined, 27 A.L.R.4th 1038.

Reconciliation as affecting decree for limited divorce, separation, alimony, separate maintenance, or spousal support, 36 A.L.R.4th 502.

Divorced or separated spouse's living with member of opposite sex as affecting other spouse's obligation or support under separation agreement, 47 A.L.R.4th 38.

Divorce: excessiveness or adequacy of combined property division and spousal support awards - modern cases, 55 A.L.R.4th 14.

Death of obligor spouse as affecting alimony, 79 A.L.R.4th 10.

Divorce: court's authority to institute or increase spousal support award after discharge of prior property award in bankruptcy, 87 A.L.R.4th 353.

Divorce and separation: award of interest on deferred installment payments of marital asset distribution, 10 A.L.R.5th 191.

Alimony as affected by recipient spouse's remarriage in absence of controlling specific statute, 47 A.L.R.5th 129.

Validity, construction, and application of provision in separation agreement affecting distribution or payment of attorney's fees, 47 A.L.R.5th 207.

Propriety of equalizing income of spouses through alimony awards, 102 A.L.R.5th 395.

Spouse's professional degree or license as marital property for purposes of alimony, support, or property settlement, 3 A.L.R.6th 447.

Divorce and separation: health insurance benefits as marital asset, 81 A.L.R.6th 655.

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