Spousal support should help you as you work to become financially independent and able to take care of yourself. The intention is not to become a long-term source of income or an alternative to making your own income.
For this reason, the court will set an end date for your spousal support payments. According to the Code of Virginia, explains that permanent spousal support is possible in some cases, but there is usually an end date set.
The court will not issue permanent support from your spouse if he or she can prove grounds for your divorce that are in his or her favor. Do keep in mind, though, the court has a lot of discretion when awarding support. It can determine in any case to issue permanent support.
In most cases, the court will follow a general guideline under the law, which is that you can receive support for a period that is half the length of your marriage. For example, if your marriage lasted six years, then you can get support for three years.
Note that once the court sets a time limit for spousal support payments, you cannot modify it. Make sure that you are ok with the end date. You always have the option to show hardship or that it is unfair to stop your support at that time and ask the court for a longer period of support.
You should be aware that if you have a prenuptial agreement that the court finds valid, any spousal support stipulations in that agreement are also valid. The court will follow your agreement rather than the law.