On behalf of Roeder, Cochran, Phillips, PLLC posted in family law on Thursday, March 21, 2019.
For Virginians whose marriage has reached the juncture where they can no longer remain together, the decision to divorce is not a simple one. A litany of family law issues will be part of the process. One that frequently invites dispute is spousal support, alternatively referred to as alimony. In general, one spouse will be ordered to pay support to the other. The amount will hinge on a variety of factors. Understanding these factors and the circumstances that dictate how much will be paid is an important aspect of a case.
The court will assess what sparked the end of the marriage and the grounds for divorce. It will consider the parties’ financial resources, their obligations and their needs. This will include the income each receives regardless of where it comes from. In any marriage, there will be a standard of living that the couple shared. With spousal support, the receiving party will be expected to maintain that standard of living. The court will consider how long the couple was married. The parties’ condition – mental, physical and their age – will be part of the process as will special circumstances. These issues and any special circumstances can also include children from the marriage with the custodial parent being unable to seek employment due to the need to care for the child.
Each party might have contributed to the family’s well-being during the marriage. This can be monetary and non-monetary. If there are property interests, the court will consider it. When marital property is divided, there will be provisions in the agreement. This can be imperative in a decision for spousal support. The receiving party’s ability to earn a living with skills, education and training along with the current employment opportunities and how long it might take to gain these skills is a key factor.
While the couple was married, there might have been decisions made regarding finances, employment, education and parenting. This could impact earning ability and will be a vital part of the decision on spousal support. If the breadwinner was assisted by the other spouse to become educated, receive training and to achieve their current career status, this will be a major part of the determination. Other factors will be considered based on the case.
The end of a marriage can be complex in a myriad of ways. One of the most glaring issues is often spousal support. Understanding how the court decides on how much will be paid requires legal assistance from the perspective of the paying spouse and the receiving spouse. Calling a law firm that specializes in family law and divorce is the first step in any case.