Does a non-working spouse have a right to seek spousal support?
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Does a non-working spouse have a right to seek spousal support?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2020 | Divorce |

Although many couples have two working spouses, it is still somewhat common for one person to stay home and out of the workforce after marriage. There are multiple reasons why one spouse might not have an outside job.

The family could have children who require care, or there could be an older adult, such as an ailing sibling or parent, who needs medical support. It is possible that the nonworking spouse has a medical issue of their own that keeps them from seeking a job. It may also be possible that the demands of one spouse due to their stressful possession preclude them from fulfilling obligations around the marital home, such as cooking, cleaning or managing the yard, requiring their spouse to stay home.

When one spouse steps up to provide childcare or other valuable services for the family, that can leave them vulnerable to a total loss or lack of income in the event of a divorce. Thankfully, Georgia allows financially dependent spouses to seek spousal support, also known as alimony.

The amount and duration of spousal support depends on family circumstances

The courts will consider many different issues when deciding what amount of spousal support is fair and how long the recipient will require it. Georgia law provides for both permanent and temporary spousal support. For example, if a man divorces his non-working wife after she receives a cancer diagnosis, the courts may order him to continue providing health insurance and to pay support as long as she remains ill or unable to work.

For couples close to retirement, the courts may order permanent spousal support as a way to ensure that the nonworking spouse receives a fair portion of the pension or retirement savings the family accrued. For younger spouses who have the ability to rejoin the workforce, temporary support can allow them to pay their bills while seeking the education or work experience that will let them earn a livable wage in the future.