As with most family law issues—especially ones dealing with spousal support—the above questions will be decided on a case-by-case basis. However, in Virginia, a court will look at three specific factors in deciding your case: (1) your need for alimony and your spouse’s ability to pay; (2) specifically enumerated statutory considerations; and (3) the length of your marriage. In order to receive alimony at all, you must satisfy all of the above criteria.
Need and Ability to Pay
The question of how much support you will receive depends on the first factor, your need for alimony and your spouse’s ability to pay. Determining your need is rather simple. If the income you bring in every month is not enough to cover your bills, then you have a need for spousal support. Of course, the inquiry does not end there. Your spouse must be able to pay you alimony based on their own income and expenses before you are awarded any support. In other words, your spouse must earn significantly more than you do for you to be entitled to alimony. Typically, if your spouse earns 23% more than you, you will be entitled to support.
While there is no bright line test for what “significantly more” means, ...
... middle of paper ...
Like everything in the law, though, there are exceptions. Your entitlement to alimony automatically stops if you or your spouse dies, you remarry, or you cohabitate with another person as if you were remarried for a year or more.
Nevertheless, as long as you can demonstrate that you have a need for spousal support, your spouse has the ability to pay for it, and the statutory factors justify awarding you support – you will likely be entitled to alimony for a period of time at least half as long as the duration of your marriage.
There are a number of financial considerations to be aware of during a divorce, especially if you have been married for an extended period of time. If you are currently going through a separation or are considering divorce, the family law attorneys at DiPietro, PLLC are here for you. Call us today at (703) 370 – 5555 for a consultation.
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