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What standard of living during a marriage means for alimony talks

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Divorce

When a marriage ends, frequent issues that arise include child custody and property division.

Another aspect that often comes up is the determination of alimony, or spousal support. In Georgia, as in many other states, the standard of living during marriage plays a major role in shaping alimony talks.

Standard of living

The standard of living refers to the lifestyle that a couple maintained during their marriage. It encompasses various aspects such as housing, education, recreation and overall financial well-being. This standard is a key factor when courts in Georgia contemplate the financial support one spouse may owe to the other after divorce.

A comparable lifestyle

The goal of alimony is to enable the lower-earning spouse to maintain a lifestyle that is reasonably similar to what they lived during the marriage. In Georgia, the accustomed standard of living is a baseline when determining the appropriate amount and duration of alimony.

Income disparities

The median household income in Macon County is $33,960. When there are significant income disparities between spouses, alimony becomes more likely. If, for example, one spouse earned substantially more than the other during the marriage, the court may award alimony to help bridge the financial gap and allow the lower-earning spouse to continue their accustomed standard of living.

Duration of the marriage

Short-term marriages may result in lower alimony awards, while long-term marriages might lead to more substantial and longer-lasting support. The rationale is to ensure that the financially dependent spouse has adequate time and resources to readjust to a new life post-divorce.


Alimony agreements are not set in stone. If there are significant changes in circumstances, such as a job loss or a substantial increase in income, either party may request a modification of the alimony arrangement. The court will evaluate the new circumstances and adjust the alimony accordingly

The ultimate goal with alimony is to achieve a fair and just outcome for both parties involved in the divorce proceedings.