We've been married just over 10 yrs in August. We've both always worked, have 2 kids. I currently make approx 40K more per yr than her (90/50), but this is just within the past 2 yrs that there has been that much salary difference.
We are trying to work out our difference doing an uncontested divorce, but now with her talks of requesting alimony, I am not sure she is going to settle this amicably?
Do I need to get my own lawyer?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
If she is adamant about alimony, it is likely she will hire a lawyer. As a result, you should also retain a lawyer. I practice family law in Cobb County. So, if you need additional information, please contact me.
Family Law Attorney
There is no hard and fast rule for when a Judge will award Alimony. There are factors a Judge will consider based on a Georgia Statute (O.C.G.A. 19-6-1 and 19-6-5), and a Judge has the discretion to decide whether or not to award Alimony in any given divorce case after considering the factors listed in the statute. You list some facts above (length of marriage, disparity of earning capacity), but there are also a number of other factors including:
(1) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(2) The age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties;
(3) The financial resources of each party;
(4) Where applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him to find appropriate employment;
(5) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
(6) The condition of the parties, including the separate estate, earning capacity, and fixed liabilities of the parties; and
(7) Such other relevant factors as the court deems equitable and proper.
Attorneys who have litigated this issue extensively in Court will tell you that in Georgia the Judge is primarily looking at your ability to pay vs. your spouse's needs.
If you are also going to have to pay child support as part of the terms of your agreement, then you may not have the ability to pay Alimony given your budget and basic expenses. If this is the case, you can make a compelling argument to a Judge that Alimony is not appropriate in your case. I advise you to speak to an attorney that practices exclusively in the area of Family Law, and one who is intimitely familiar with the Superior Courts in the county of your residence, so that you he/she can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.