Divorce is one of the most emotionally fraught life experiences to get through. It’s even more stressful for Virginia residents who are 50 years old and older. It’s likely that one spouse will be paying the other alimony or spousal support, but there is no guarantee those payments will last indefinitely, which may be a good thing for the one making those payments, but not so much for the one receiving them.
Not just about length of marriage
Although a family court judge will take into consideration how long a couple had been married, that is not the only standard used to ascertain the amount and duration of alimony. It is also not solely based on the standard of living the couple had during the marriage. The fact is that both parties will have half as much income as they did prior to the divorce. A spousal support order is determined by several points, some of which include:
- The ability of one party to pay
- How badly the other party needs support
- Limitations on the recipient to earn income, such as health issues, lack of education or lack of experience
Divorced couples heading into or, or already into, their golden years, as they say, need to be mindful of circumstances that could affect alimony payments, such as job loss, disability, or the death of a payor or payee. There is no such thing as guaranteed alimony for life. A recipient of support, professionals say, needs to do everything possible to become self-sufficient or have some extra income that backs up a support order — especially if the person is over the age of 50.