Going through the process of divorce can understandably be emotionally and financially unsettling. This is true no matter how long or short of a time you and your spouse have been married.
However, the divorce process may be especially nerve racking if your spouse earned more than you during the marriage. Fortunately, you may not have to fend for yourself financially immediately following your divorce. Alimony payments might help you to more easily transition to independent living in Virginia.
Why is alimony available?
The purpose of alimony is to limit the unfair economic impacts of divorce. It essentially provides a stream of income to a spouse who earned no wages or who earned lower wages. Part of the reason why the lower-earning spouse is in this position might be because he or she decided to give up his or her career to take care of the children and the household.
If you receive alimony, this will buy you time to develop the job skills you need to more sufficiently support yourself long term. Alimony might also help you to maintain the same standard of living you enjoyed while you were married.
What are alimony payment amounts determined?
Specific guidelines dictate how each state handles child support payments, but this is not the case with alimony. Instead, courts generally look at several factors before making alimony award determinations. These factors include the following:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your and your spouse's standard of living while you were married
- The ages, emotional states, financial conditions and physical conditions of you and the other party
- How much time you may need to complete the training to be self-sufficient following your divorce
The judge will also look at the paying spouse's ability to support both the recipient and himself or herself before deciding whether to award alimony and, if so, how much.
Your rights when it comes to alimony following divorce
If you and your soon-to-be ex can reach an agreement on how to handle alimony payments during your divorce proceeding, you can avoid further court intrusion. You can work toward this type of agreement during informal negotiations. However, if you cannot find common ground regarding how much alimony the other party will pay you, a judge will step in to make this determination for you. Unfortunately, in this case, the outcome may not necessarily be what you would have wanted.