In Virginia divorces, spousal support is often a contested issue. For people who have substantial assets, it is a primary concern for both sides – the person who will be paying and the one receiving the support. Simply because they were fortunate enough to have garnered wealth does not prevent conflict during the case. In fact, it might exacerbate it. Being specifically prepared for this type of divorce case is key.
Know the financial factors with spousal support
Under the law, the court considers multiple aspects of a couple’s marriage when it decides on spousal support. Finances are a fundamental part of that. This will dictate how long support will be paid, how much it will be and its method of payment. Methods of payment can vary between a periodic for a defined or undefined duration and a lump sum.
Just as people have property they own, there will also be financial obligations. If there are outstanding debts for a business or personal property, this will be considered in the context of support payments. Having substantial assets does not preclude them having debt that needs to be repaid.
The standard of living can be viewed from a financial perspective. During the marriage, the couple might have had a nice primary home, vacation properties and luxury items. The person who earned less or was a homemaker has the right to expect sufficient support to retain that lifestyle after the divorce.
Even in marriages where one person earned more than the other or was the sole breadwinner, there will have been contributions made by both parties. It encompasses monetary and non-monetary assistance.
With property – marital and non-marital – it will have value. If, for example, one person owned a home before the marriage and the other person paid for repairs, maintenance and improvements, they have a right to expect to be compensated for that.
Finances and spousal support are tied together
When gauging finances, it goes beyond simply looking at the bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, property holdings and anything else the couple accrued. Other factors are considered as the court tries to come to a determination that will be fair to both. With extensive properties, it can be complicated to sift through and it is useful to be prepared. This is a crucial part of a high-asset divorce.