Spousal support is a means to keep spouses on similar financial footing after a divorce and to prevent putting a lower income spouse at a disadvantage simply because he or she gave up career advances during the marriage in order to take care of the family. A court has many factors to consider in making the decision whether or not to award alimony.
Rapper Big Boi, from the group Outkast, is currently going through divorce proceedings with his wife of twelve years. In her filing, his wife requests sole custody of their minor son as well as child support and alimony. Big Boi has responded, disputing the request for sole custody and instead asking for joint physical custody. Though he intends to pay whatever amount of child support is ordered based on the guidelines of the state of Georgia, he does not feel he should be required to pay alimony, as he has described his wife as in good health and well educated.
Alimony is an allotment from the assets of one spouse to another spouse pursuant to a divorce. The intent of ordering alimony is to negate any unfair financial effects that may result from a divorce due to a significant difference in the income and assets between the parties. Whether alimony should be awarded is based on numerous factors including the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the health of the spouses, their assets and earning capacities and the amount of time required for the lower income spouse to obtain necessary education to gain sufficient employment.
If alimony is ordered, the length of the payments must be determined as well. Alimony can be rehabilitative, meaning it should only be paid until the lower earning spouse can obtain proper employment to financially support him or herself and his or her family. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, is to be paid until the court deems it is no longer necessary. Cessation of payments may arise with the death of one of the ex-spouses or the remarriage of the recipient spouse.
Whether alimony should be ordered in Big Boi's case is up the court, but strong legal arguments can influence that decision. Thus, anyone going through or considering a divorce should be aware of his or her rights and obligations concerning alimony. A family law attorney can assist them with the alimony process.
Source: Hot New Hip Hop, "Big Boi's Wife Filing For A Divorce [Update: Big Boi Responds To Wife's Demands, Wants Joint Custody]," Rose Lilah, Feb. 20, 2014