Despite being essential for spatial cell division control, the mechanisms governing spindle positioning remain incompletely understood. In the Caenorhabditis elegans one-cell stage embryo, the spindle becomes asymmetrically positioned during anaphase through the action of as-yet unidentified cortical force generators that pull on astral microtubules and that depend on two G alpha proteins and associated proteins. We performed spindle-severing experiments following temporally restricted gene inactivation and drug exposure, and established that microtubule dynamics and dynein are both required for generating efficient pulling forces. We found that the G alpha-associated proteins GPR-1/2 and LIN-5 interact in vivo with LIS-1, a component of the dynein complex. Moreover, we discovered that the LIN-5, GPR-1/2 and the G alpha proteins promote the presence of the dynein complex at the cell cortex. Our findings suggest a mechanism by which the G alpha proteins enable GPR-1/2 and LIN-5 recruitment to the cortex, thus ensuring the presence of cortical dynein. Together with microtubule dynamics, this allows pulling forces to be exerted and proper cell division to be achieved.