A topic that often comes up during many divorces is the subject of spousal support. One spouse may be asking for spousal support while the other spouse may be reluctant to agree to make a financial payment to their former spouse on a monthly basis following their divorce or as a lump sum. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing spouses on either side of a alimony dispute to be familiar with how Viriginia family law courts determine spousal support or alimony.
Factors used to determine spousal support
Several factors are used to determine if an award of spousal support will be made including:
- The income and financial obligations, needs and resources of the spouses;
- The ages and mental and physical health conditions of the spouses;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- If one of the spouses contributed to the education, training or increased earning potential of the other spouse;
- The property interests of the spouses;
- The monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each of the spouses to the well-being of the family;
- The earning capacities of the spouses, including skills, education and training, and the employment opportunities of the spouses;
- The opportunity for, and what it would take in terms of time and cost for, one of the spouses to acquire the necessary education, training and skills to enhance their earning capacity (and the length of time the spouse has been out of the job market may also be taken into account);
- The extent to which the age, condition and special circumstances of a child from the marriage would make it appropriate for one of the spouses to remain in the home; and
- Any other factors, such as tax consequences, the family law court deems necessary to making its decision.
Spousal support can be a hot button topic during a divorce. It is helpful for the spouses to be educated about how it is determined if they plan on asking for alimony or opposing a request for alimony.