Does Alimony Stop When I Retire in Georgia?


For most spouses paying alimony in Georgia, the main question is simple: When do these payments stop? Although alimony may cease under a range of different circumstances, perhaps the most notable reason to modify these arrangements involves retirement. But does retirement really give spouses the opportunity to cease or reduce their alimony payments? Like so many other aspects of divorce law in Georgia, the answer is complicated. 

Retirement Can Lead to Modified Alimony Agreements

Laws that apply to alimony are somewhat vague and open-ended in Georgia. Ultimately, it comes down to the discretion of each court to decide whether alimony should cease or stop altogether. That being said, retirement may be considered a valid reason to modify an existing alimony agreement. With this in mind, it is important to consider whether or not you can modify your own agreement as you approach retirement. 

What is Your Normal Retirement Age?

You may need to ask yourself what your “normal retirement age” is according to your specific profession. Different careers are associated with different retirement ages. Some careers are associated with muh earlier or later retirement ages. Therefore, it makes sense to discuss your unique career situation alongside a divorce attorney as you determine whether you can modify your alimony agreement based on retirement. 

Permanent Alimony is Rare in Georgia

It is also worth mentioning that permanent alimony is somewhat rare in Georgia. In Georgia, there is no explicit “right” to alimony or spousal support. Often, alimony is part of a separation agreement drafted among spouses. It might be worth referring to the exact wording of your separation agreement to determine whether alimony may cease upon retirement. If there is no separation agreement, there is a strong likelihood that your alimony will cease long before retirement. Most alimony does not last longer than 10 years or so in the state of Georgia.

Alimony May Be Reduced But Not Eliminated

In some divorces, alimony may continue into retirement. In this situation, alimony may be reduced during retirement, but it may not stop altogether. This is especially common in situations where spouses have retirement assets such as pensions or 401(k)s. In this case, income earned during retirement may go toward the ex-spouse as part of alimony, even if the previous alimony is reduced because the paying spouse no longer has a job. This is especially common in so-called “grey divorces,” where the marriage has a long duration. 

Where Can I Find an Alimony Attorney in Georgia?

If you have been searching for an experienced alimony attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses pursue positive results. If you are approaching divorce and you are wondering whether your alimony may end, consider booking a consultation. During this meeting, you can discuss your unique situation and explore strategies for lowering your financial obligations after divorce. 

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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