Every family in Virginia has a different dynamic, particularly when it comes to their careers. Sometimes both spouses work outside the home and earn relatively the same amount of money. However, sometimes while both spouses work outside the home, one spouse earns significantly more than the other. In addition, sometimes one spouse will stay out of the workforce entirely, while the other spouse works outside the home to support their family. So, what happens when a lesser-earning or homemaking spouse goes through a divorce? How will they get by financially?
This is why spousal support (also known as alimony or spousal maintenance) is so important. Spousal support is meant to provide a lesser-earning spouse with the financial resources necessary to become self-sufficient. However, unlike child support, there is no formula for calculating spousal support. Instead, the court will consider a number of factors.
One factor the court will consider is each party's financial resources and needs. Each party's age and physical and mental health will be considered. The contributions each party made financially to the marriage will be considered. How long the marriage lasted will be considered. Finally, the standard of living the parties enjoyed while married will be considered.
Often an award of spousal support is rehabilitative, meaning there is a set end date. However, Virginia is one of the few states that will still grant a spouse permanent alimony in certain circumstances, which lasts until remarriage or death.
At our firm, we seek to help our clients reach an agreement with their ex regarding spousal support that is fair and appropriate. However, when negotiations fail we will vigorously protect the rights of our clients during the litigation process. Our spousal support website may be of assistance to those who want more information on this topic.