Factors Determining Your Right to Alimony in Virginia

filing for alimony in a divorceA divorce is a stressful and emotional experience even when both parties agree to it. However, the worries can be even worse if you earned less or no money and relied on your spouse for financial support. In this situation, you may need alimony to help either temporarily or permanently pay your basic living expenses. If your spouse will not agree to provide you with alimony or you both cannot agree on the amount, you might have a right to ask the judge to award it in your divorce.

What Factors Are Used to Determine Your Right to Alimony?

If you committed adultery, you are barred from receiving alimony. However, desertion or cruelty are not grounds to prevent you from receiving alimony. In other cases, the judge will use a number of factors to determine whether you have a right to alimony, the amount you receive, and the length of time you are entitled to it. Some of these factors include the following:

  • The obligations, income, and other financial resources for both spouses, including income received from pensions, profit-sharing, or other retirement plans
  • What the standard of living was during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, physical condition, and mental condition of both spouses and any special circumstance affecting them or their children
  • Monetary and nonmonetary contributions made by both spouses
  • Financial assets of each spouse
  • Whether the age or special circumstances of any of the children require one spouse to remain at home instead of seeking employment
  • Extent to which one spouse contributed to the other’s education, training, or career and professional development
  • Both spouses’ earning capacity at the present time and the potential earning capacity in the future
  • Opportunity and ability of a spouse to receive training or education to increase her future earning capacity
  • Decisions the spouses made during the marriage about work and parenting and the effect of these decisions on their earning ability, including the length of time either spouse was not working
  • How marital property is being distributed
  • Other factors, such as tax consequences, that need to be considered so that any alimony award is fair

Are you considering filing for divorce? The experienced family law attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to answer your questions and help you obtain a fair result in your divorce. Call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.