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Factors that help determine spousal support in Virginia

The state of Virginia recognizes three types of spousal support. The first kind is permanent spousal support which is usually paid out monthly for an undefined period of time. Rehabilitative spousal support and lump sum spousal support are the other kinds of support used in the state. The state also uses a number of factors to determine the amount of spousal support that must be paid. So here is a brief look at these factors that the court considers.

One of the first factors the court may consider in determining spousal support is how long the divorcing couple was married. The length of the marriage is important in order to determine support, especially if one of the spouses gave up their career in order to maintain the home or take care of the couple’s children. In that event, this person will need time after the divorce to develop the proper skills to re-enter the workforce, and the award of alimony may reflect this need.

There also other reasons the court may consider when deciding spousal support. These include how much money each person contributed to the marriage and whether either person gave up money when they decided to get married. The court may also look into the earning potential, education level and working skills for both of the spouses.

The court may also look into the debts, resources and income of the spouses as well as the lifestyle they are currently living. However, any Virginia resident who is getting a divorce may want to speak to a divorce attorney in order to discover all of the other spousal support factors that a Virginia court considers.

Source:, “Divorce, spousal support and division of marital property and debts”, Accessed May 15, 2016

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