Spousal support (also called “alimony”) can be a hotly contested topic in divorce. To the higher-earning spouse asked to part with some of his or her money, it can feel like an inappropriate punishment. To the lesser-earning spouse, it can seem like an absolute necessity.
At the law firm of GBSR Attorneys we are here to help you and your spouse negotiate a workable arrangement. Our Roanoke spousal support attorneys are also willing and able to go to trial if necessary to protect our clients’ financial interests.
Alimony Amounts And Durations In Virginia
The Virginia family law courts do not have set guidelines for alimony as they do for child support. Instead, the courts will generally order spousal support if one party has a need and the other party has the ability to pay. If paying support would result in undue financial hardship to the payor, it will likely not be ordered.
In situations where the marriage lasted less than 10 years, spousal support is often ordered to continue for approximately half the duration of the marriage (e.g. five years of alimony for a 10-year marriage). The hope is that the recipient will be able to become self-sufficient during that time.
In situations where the marriage lasted more than 10 years, financial self-sufficiency may not be possible. Alimony payments may be ordered to continue indefinitely, depending on the circumstances. However, it is also possible to request a spousal support modification.
Factors The Court Will Consider When Awarding Support
The lawyers at GBSR are very familiar with the factors the courts take into account when determining whether or not to order spousal support. Here are just a few of those factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The earning ability of each party
- Each party’s education, skills and work history
- The age and health condition of each party
- The income and assets of each party
- How much each party contributed to the marriage
- Any child support obligations
- The tax consequences of awarding alimony
To learn more, call our office in Roanoke or Smith Mountain Lake at 540-721-5110, or use our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We serve clients in Montgomery County, Franklin County and beyond.