While sometimes there is a great satisfaction in a high-income career, sometimes there is also a great satisfaction in having a lower-income career. Moreover, sometimes spouses will come to the agreement that one of them should leave the workforce and be a homemaker while married. This causes problems, however, when a couple decides to divorce and one spouse currently earns significantly more than the other spouse, because they both enjoyed the same lifestyle with their combined efforts prior to their separation. In such situations, the lesser-earning spouse may want to learn more about Georgia alimony laws, so that both spouses are on relatively even financial footing post-divorce.
Two types of alimony
Alimony is a sum of money a higher-earning spouse pays the lesser-earning spouse on a regular basis following a divorce. Georgia law recognizes two types of alimony: temporary alimony and permanent alimony. Permanent alimony is rarely awarded. It is more likely that temporary alimony will be awarded in a divorce.
Courts will consider several factors when determining how much to award in alimony. These include:
- The standard of living the spouses had while married
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- The time it would take for either spouse to become financially self-sufficient
- The monetary and service contributions each spouse made to the marriage
- Each spouse’s separate assets, earning capacity and debts; and
- Any other relevant factors
As you can see, there is no cut-and-dried formula for determining alimony. It is based on the individual circumstances of the spouses, and no two cases will be alike.
Learn more about alimony
Ultimately, if you are seeking temporary or permanent alimony it is essential to make sure you understand what factors the courts may consider and what requirements you must meet. Alimony can be a financial lifeline for the lesser-earning spouse, but it should not be a financial anchor on the greater-earning spouse. A fair award of alimony can ultimately meet both spouses’ needs as they move forward into their post-divorce lives.