Divorce can place a significant financial strain on each of the parties involved. As single parents in Georgia may know, the financial consequences faced by stay at home moms and dads can be even greater due to their lack of recent work experience and limited earning capacity. To help alleviate these consequences, and to place the respective spouses in similar financial situations, a court may award alimony to one of the spouses if circumstances necessitate it.
A father of three has recently divorced from his wife and the couple now shares custody of the children. The man was a science teacher until 2001, when he and his wife decided that he should become a stay at home dad and raise the children, while the wife pursued a medical career. The man has now been out of the workforce for eleven years and is currently facing some financial challenges. The man is seeking to undergo training for a career in bookkeeping or accounting. As part of the divorce, the man received a substantial settlement until 2015, along with $179,000 in an IRA and $14,400 every year in child support. Despite some concerns about his long term future, the man notes the relative comfort the settlement provides him as he looks to transition back into the work force.
Alimony, or spousal support, is essentially an allowance from the assets of one party to a divorce to the other for the purposes of supporting them and minimizing any negative economic effects for the lower-earning spouse like the father noted in the story. In Georgia, alimony can be temporary, which means it is paid until the receiving spouse receives appropriate training and can support themselves; or it can be permanent, meaning it will be paid until the receiving spouse remarries or a court orders that it no longer needs to be paid.
Alimony awards to parties to a divorce can be an effective way to help them get back on their feet and provide for themselves and their children. Each party to a divorce should be aware of the potential right to receive spousal support. Like the father who is now looking forward to a new career, a carefully crafted divorce settlement - which includes appropriate alimony - can help those who may be distressed about the financial ramifications of divorce ensure a positive outcome.
Source: Seattle Times, "Single dad changing careers, unsure of financial future," Suzanne Monson, Dec. 15, 2012