The income of spouses in Georgia can be dramatically different for a number of reasons. One spouse may postpone or forgo a career to raise children or take a part-time job that provides greater flexibility. When a couple divorces, this difference in income can have a serious detrimental impact on the lower-income spouse. The law provides mechanisms, however, for mitigating this effect.
The wife of Big Boi, a member of hip-hop group Outkast, has recently filed for divorce. The couple has been married for 12 years and has two children together, ages 18 and 12. The filing states that the marriage is irretrievably broken. She is seeking sole custody of the couple's youngest child, along with child support. Additionally, she is requesting that the marital property be distributed equitably and that Big Boi be ordered to pay her alimony.
Alimony, or spousal support, is payment made from the assets of a higher-earning spouse for the purpose of providing the lower earning or non-income spouse with a steady stream of income. The intent of providing this income is to limit any possible negative effects on the financial status of the lower-income spouse. Courts are given discretion in determining the amount of alimony to be paid based on many factors including the age and finances of each party, the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage and the education required for the recipient spouse to be able to earn enough money to meet their requirements.
Alimony can be defined as either rehabilitative or permanent. Rehabilitative alimony is paid for the length of time necessary for the receiving party to receive training and become self-sufficient. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, is paid until an event occurs such as a court order, remarriage of the receiving spouse or death of one of the parties. Anyone going through a divorce in Georgia may seek the guidance of a skilled family law attorney in regards to their rights and responsibilities concerning alimony.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Big Boi's wife files for divorce," Marcus K. Garner, Oct. 3, 2013