A common issue in any divorce may be alimony or spousal support. A marriage entails the agreement that each spouse support each other and separation or divorce may not end this agreement. Alimony is considered the permanent or temporary financial maintenance or support from one spouse to the other under the divorce agreement. Typically alimony is a payment from the ex-husband to the ex-wife and rarely the other way around. A court may award alimony for a defined period of time, or an undefined time or as one lump sum. There are many factors that a court will consider when awarding a spouse alimony. To ensure your rights are protected, contact the lawyers at Shannon & Associates, P.C. when navigating the complicated process of alimony and divorce.
Types of Alimony: Temporary and Permanent
In the State of Virginia there exists temporary alimony and permanent alimony. Temporary alimony can be awarded by the court even before your case is heard and during actual litigation. Temporary alimony may also be awarded after your case is heard and will end at a fixed date. By contrast, permanent alimony will last until the death of either spouse. Alimony will also end if the spouse receiving alimony decides to remarry.
Factors That May Affect The Amount Of Alimony
There are many factors the court will consider when awarding alimony. This is not an exhaustive list, as the court may consider many other facts specific to your case. Typically the court will first look at the reason for the divorce when considering how long a spouse will get alimony. The reason for your divorce will be a very important factor. If the court finds adultery to be a reason for the divorce, the offending spouse may be barred from receiving permanent spousal support.
Your lifestyle and standard of living that was established during your marriage will be considered as well a the length of your marriage. A court will typically view a marriage of one year differently than a marriage of twenty years. The longer the marriage, the higher the likelihood that your lives have become dependent on one another and that you have become accustomed to a standard of living.
The age, physical and mental condition as well as any special circumstances of the family will also be examined. Therefore if a spouse is disabled, or someone in the immediate family is suffering from a chronic condition, the court will take such circumstances into consideration.
What each spouse has contributed to the well being of the family will be a factor. Contributions can be financial or nonfinancial support of the family. The court will look at all the property acquired during the marriage that is owned by both spouses. The employment, education and job prospects of each spouse will also be considered as well as how long one spouse has been absent for the job market. If one spouse supported the other in getting an education or the elevation of their career, a court will be considerate of such support. There are many factors a court may consider when deciding alimony payments and you should be prepared to have many details of the life created under the marriage analyzed by the judge presiding over your divorce case.
Contact Our Office for Assistance
There are many reasons to contact a lawyer when attempting to understand alimony and divorce. Whether you have been a stay at home mother, if you cannot support yourself without the income of your ex-spouse, or you believe your spousal support should be increased or decreased, contact or call the divorce lawyers at our firm (757) 228-5529. The distribution of alimony can be a complicated legal process with many factors to be considered but the experienced lawyers at Shannon & Associates, P.C. are here to assist you at each step.