Divorces in Virginia can be complicated when alimony is involved.
Divorce can bring pain and sorrow to your life as your marriage starts to fall apart. The stress caused by it can have a toll on your physical health as well. But what makes it even more complicated is the financial issues involved in it. You need to know that alimony is the financial support that you may have to give to your former spouse and is usually the cause of major conflicts during a divorce. It is generally rare that both the parties to divorce would agree on the alimony payments. Therefore, it is advisable to know the law before seeking recourse in court.
In Virginia, alimony is known as spousal support. It is the payment made by one spouse to the other after a divorce. The judge will decide on the alimony to be paid based on various factors; for example, proof of financial need. In Virginia, spousal support may be temporary or permanent. Temporary financial support means the support will be withdrawn once the other spouse is financially stable.
In case of permanent alimony, it means one of the spouses will have to pay the other spousal support for the rest of their lives. Permanent spousal support is common in long-term marriages ending in a divorce, and temporary alimony is more common in short marriages.
There is a misconception that alimony is a punishment to one spouse for misconduct during the marriage. But the courts in Virginia do not force a spouse who caused the breakdown of the relationship to pay alimony. Before making any decision on alimony, a judge must consider a list of factors to determine who should pay the spousal support, how long it should be paid and the amount. Some factors that a judge will consider during a case for alimony are:
- Income and financial resources of both parties;
- Health of spouses;
- Health of children from the marriage;
- Length of marriage.
Alimony is generally awarded to those in financial need. But if both spouses have a good and stable income with personal assets, alimony will not be taken as an issue in a divorce. A judge in Virginia will also award alimony based on age or physical and mental health. A judge will also consider disabilities and causes that stops one spouse from working full-time.
In Virginia, a judge will not only consider a spouse’s health but will also take into account the health of the children. If a child has a disability and it is impossible for a spouse to work or study because they have to be full-time caregivers to the disabled child, the judge may order for alimony to be paid.
You need to know that the length of marriage alone cannot decide if your spouse will receive alimony, but chances are high for long-term marriages to receive alimony, mainly permanent spousal support.
To get permanent or temporary spousal support in Virginia, make sure you hire an attorney competent in dealing with such cases.
Mr. Sris has helped numerous clients with divorce cases in Virginia.