In the Commonwealth of Virginia, divorce cases typically will involve many, if not all, of the following issues: equitable distribution (the division of property); spousal support; child custody and child support. This article focuses on the issue of spousal support.

Alimony, or spousal support, are monies paid by one spouse to the other for their support as the result of a pending or finalized divorce. The parties can agree on an amount or allow the issue to be determined by a judge if no agreement can be made.

During the pendency of a divorce action, a pendente lite support award may be established by the Court. This is a temporary spousal support award made by the Court based upon the demonstrated financial need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to meet that need temporarily.

When determining a final award of spousal support, the Court takes into consideration the following factors in accordance with Virginia Code Section 20-107.1: 1) obligations, needs and financial resources of the spouses; 2) the standard of living established during the marriage duration of the marriage; 3) the age and physical and mental condition of the spouses, and any special family circumstances; 4) each spouse’s contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, to the well-being of the family; 5) each spouse’s financial assets; 6) provisions made with regard to distribution of the marital property; 7) extent to which age, condition of special circumstances of any child of the spouses would make it appropriate for one spouse to stay home; 8) the extent to which either spouse contributed to the other’s education, training, career position or profession;

9) the spouses’ earning capacity and the current employment opportunities for people with that earning capacity; 10) opportunity for and ability of the spouses to get education and training to enhance earning ability; 11) decisions regarding work and parenting that the spouses made during the marriage, and their effect on earning potential, including the length of time either spouse has been out of the job market; 12) provisions made with regard to distribution of the marital property; and 13) any other factors, including the tax consequences to each spouse, necessary to arrive at a fair result.

An experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC can help protect your right to spousal support. Call us today.