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What factors determine if alimony is warranted?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2020 | Divorce |

When marriage becomes a partnership both people want to escape, it may be time to have the divorce discussion. It’s possible that one soon-to-be former spouse will be paying  alimony to the other, so it is good to know what factors are in Virginia that are used to actually make that determination. This is especially true for couples who have been married for many years.

Also known as spousal support, alimony is a sum paid to one spouse from the other as per a court order. It is not part of every divorce decree in Virginia, but it does affect many. When a judge makes the determination that one spouse made personal and professional sacrifices in the marriage — especially for the other spouse’s success — this may be a rationale for granting alimony. In other words, one spouse earned less or earned no income during the course of the marriage and alimony sets out to balance this.

There is no finite time for alimony payments. Spousal support can be awarded for the long or short term. It can either be paid in one lump sum or monthly. Factors considered are standard of living, the length of the marriage, age, physical condition and finances of the spouses. These things may be used to determine whether or not alimony will be awarded and how much it will be. The decision will likely have a major impact on the lives of both individuals.

Virginia residents who have questions about alimony and that laws that govern it should seek independent legal advice from an attorney experienced in family law. Before proceeding with the divorce process it may be wise to find out if the marriage could preclude alimony in the divorce decree. Having that knowledge will certainly help in making final decisions.