All across the country, states are questioning whether or not alimony laws
should be changed. Will this debate also make its way to Georgia?
This fall changes were made to alimony laws in Massachusetts. Under the
new laws, alimony will vary depending on how long a couple was married
and their incomes. Additionally, alimony payments can be modified in the
future, and even terminated if the recipient has a new partner or reaches
retirement. The new laws go into effect in March.
The alimony debate is heating up in other states as well, such as Florida,
Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Proponents believe that most alimony laws were written a long time ago,
and do not take into consideration what a marriage looks like in the 21st
century. Nowadays, more women are in the workforce and they have higher incomes.
However, some opponents to the proposed changes in alimony laws are concerned
that women over the age of 50 who do not work may be left in a difficult
Others argue that the changes would limit a judge's discretion in
Additionally, some are concerned that people would remain in unhealthy
relationships simply to gain more alimony after the marriage does end.
One woman in Florida is in favor of the changes. Her husband suffers from
Alzheimer's, yet is still required to pay $25,200 a year in alimony
to his ex-wife despite being unable to live a normal life himself. If
the alimony payments were terminated, the man's wife would be able
to put aside more money for his medical care.
Currently in Georgia, there are no guidelines for determining alimony.
If the alimony laws were to change, a set of guidelines would likely determine
the amount of spousal support that should be paid.