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What is considered in spousal support determinations?

Getting divorced can be an emotional blow, but it can also leave a Virginian facing very real financial difficulties. Many individuals find it challenging to transition from a two income household to a single income household, especially when the marital property that they once had equal claim to is subjected to the property division process. These financial consequences of divorce can be especially hard for those who have given up a career or education to raise a family. When these individuals find themselves amidst a divorce, they may rightfully be concerned about how they are going to make ends meet.

Fortunately, these individuals may be able to successfully seek spousal support. These payments, which can be made monthly or in one lump sum, seek to provide a spouse who gave up opportunities the financial support he or she deserves. Of course, this can be a challenging issue to address in divorce, with each side having vastly different ideas about what is fair, which is why Virginia law gives family law judges some guidance as far as what to consider when deciding spousal support matters.

There are a number of factors that a court will consider when determining whether to award alimony and, if so, how much to award. At a most basic level, the court will look at the financial obligation, needs, and the resources of each spouse. From there, the court will assess the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the length of the marriage, each party’s contribution to the marriage and family, and each party’s earning capacity.

These are just a handful of the multiple factors that a court will look at when addressing spousal support. With so much to consider, the matter is wide open for legal argument. This is why Virginians who find themselves facing alimony issues may want the help of a skilled divorce attorney who will know how to zealously advocate for them and their interests.