Can Men Receive Alimony in Georgia?
The short answer to this question is: Absolutely. There is no mandate under Georgia law prohibiting men from receiving alimony as a result of a Georgia divorce. In fact, the law in Georgia is quite clear on this subject. Prior to April 4, 1979, the Official Code of Georgia was worded in such a way that prohibited men from being awarded alimony. So, prior to 1979, alimony was a remedy that only wives could seek upon a divorce.
However in 1979, Georgia’s laws granting alimony exclusively you the wife were held unconstitutional by the United State Supreme Court in the case of Orr v. Orr, 440 U.S. 268 (1979). In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Georgia’s legislature modified the section of the Georgia Code regarding alimony to read as follows:
(a) Permanent alimony may be granted in the following cases:
(1) In cases of divorce;
(2) In cases of voluntary separation; or
(3) Where one spouse, against the will of that spouse, is abandoned or driven off by the other spouse.
(b) A grant of permanent alimony may be enforced either by writ of fieri facias or by attachment for contempt.
O.C.G.A. § 19-6-4. As is evidenced by the gender neutral wording of this statute, Georgia’s law now requires that the principles of liability for alimony to apply equally to women as well as men.
As a young Georgia divorce attorney, I have found that it is not at all uncommon for a Georgia court to grant alimony to men in appropriate situations. Although many individuals maintain the stereotype that alimony is an award that should exclusively be awarded to women, the law of Georgia disagrees. If you are going through a divorce and are curious as to whether alimony may play a factor in your divorce action contact our Atlanta Divorce Team.
By A. Latrese Martin, Associate Attorney, Meriwether & Tharp, LLC