What factors are considered when determining spousal support in Virginia?
Determining whether you are entitled to spousal support in Virginia, for how long and in what amount is one of the many challenges judges are faced with in cases of Virginia divorce. Spousal support awards are made with careful consideration of a variety of factors.
These factors include:
- Financial situation – the financial situation of both parties is weighed by the court. This includes considering current income(s), investment income and retirement or pension plans.
- Standard of living – the court will also consider the standard of living to which both spouses have become accustomed. This does not necessarily mean that the court will grant a large award of spousal support in Virginia just because you have grown accustomed to a finer lifestyle.
- Duration of marriage – there is no hard and fast rule for how spousal support in Virginia relates to the length of a marriage, but in general, the shorter the marriage, the shorter the term of support. If your marriage was less than 5 years, you may not receive any spousal support. Conversely, if your marriage was 30 years, your spousal support award may be quite significant.
- Age and health – the court will take the age and health of both spouses into consideration as they relate to the parties' ability to seek employment.
- Contributions to the home – a judge will also weigh the monetary and non-monetary contributions both parties made to their home. If one spouse sacrificed a career to stay at home and raise children, this will be taken into consideration when determining the award of spousal support in Virginia.
- Earning capacity – the earning capacity of both spouses will be considered by the court, as well. A judge will take into account the length of time either party has been absent from the job market, the ability of the spouses to get training or education to further their careers and the likelihood of increased income potential.
Contacting a Virginia Beach Divorce Attorney for Women
Throughout your divorce proceedings, you'll naturally have a lot of questions specific to your circumstances. Get your questions answered by requesting a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserving your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.
The Virginia Beach divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm are committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes and advocating that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life.