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Types of Alimony

What are the Different Types of Alimony in Georgia? 

While alimony is not appropriate in every case, if alimony could be a factor in your case it's good to know what types of alimony are available and what stipulations they might come with. In Georgia, there are 4 different types of alimony. 1) Periodic Alimony, 2) Temporary Alimony, 3) Permanent Alimony, and 4) Lump Sum Alimony. The differences between each type of alimony are related to the length of time the payments last, how the payments are made, and whether the payments are made during the divorce or after the divorce is final. There are several differences between these 4 alimony types that you should be aware of. Read more about each type of alimony below.

The 4 Types of Alimony in Georgia


Periodic Alimony


Lump Sum Alimony


Temporary Alimony


Permanent Alimony

Making periodic alimony payments.
Periodic Alimony

Periodic alimony is a type of alimony where one party pays periodic payments of alimony over a certain set time period. In Georgia, where alimony is appropriate, periodic alimony is likely the most common form of alimony. The frequency of periodic alimony payments can vary depending on your unique situation. It is most common for periodic payments to be paid in monthly or twice a month (bi-monthly) installments. However, in certain situations, it is also possible for payments to be made quarterly or weekly. It is important to note that periodic alimony may be paid in forms other than cash payments. For example, one could be ordered to pay a mortgage or debts as periodic alimony.

Making lump sum alimony payments.
Lump Sum Alimony

It is more common for alimony payments to made in the form of periodic monthly payments. However, in Georgia, it is also possible for the court to order alimony to be paid by one spouse to another in the form of one "lump sum" cash payment. This is called lump sum alimony. There are some important differences about lump sum alimony that you should be aware of. Unlike other forms of alimony - lump sum alimony is not subject to modification or termination. This should definitely be taken into consideration before deciding lump sum alimony is right for you case.

A person asking for temporary alimony in an alimony hearing.
Temporary Alimony

There are situations where one party during a divorce makes all of the couple's money and manages all of their finances. In these situations, it may be difficult for the spouse without access to funds to defend themselves or hire a lawyer for the divorce. Temporary alimony was created to rectify this potentially unfair and inequitable situation. Temporary alimony is where the court orders one spouse to make alimony payments to the other spouse during the pendency of the divorce. For this reason, temporary alimony is sometimes called alimony pendente lite (pending the suit). This type of alimony is only awarded when a divorce has been filed but is not yet final.

Making permanent alimony payments.
Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony can be a misleading term. Permanent alimony does not necessarily mean that alimony payments will be permanent. Permanent alimony is is just a term used for alimony that a court may award once the divorce is final. This is different from temporary alimony which is alimony that a court may award during the pendency of the divorce. In Georgia, lifetime alimony is extremely rare. The recent trend for permanent alimony is to order it to continue for a set duration like 5 years or 10 years depending on the case.

Additional Resources

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