If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder how the length of your marriage will affect your eligibility and amount of spousal support. In many high-net-worth Virginia divorces, one spouse has a much higher income. As a result, the other spouse worries about their life post-divorce.
Virginia spousal support, which is also known as alimony, is a payment from one spouse to the other to help maintain their standard of living after the divorce. Spousal support is not automatic or guaranteed in Virginia. Instead, it depends on several factors that the court will consider.
Marriage length as an alimony factor
One of these factors is marriage duration. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that spousal support will be awarded, and the longer alimony will last. This is because a long-term marriage usually involves more financial interdependence and sacrifice by one or both spouses.
For example, in longer marriages, a spouse may give up a career to raise children or support the other spouse’s education or business. A long-term marriage also makes it harder for a spouse to re-enter the workforce or increase their income after the divorce.
However, marriage length is not the only factor that affects spousal support. Virginia family law courts look at other factors. This includes the income and financial need of both soon-to-be ex-spouses, the contributions of each to the well-being of the family and the reasons for the divorce, especially if there was adultery or cruelty.
In addition, other factors that affect spousal support include the age and health of both parties and the education and skills of both parties. These factors are in addition to the ability of both parties to find employment and the standard of living established during the marriage.