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Factors that help determine spousal support in Virginia

Divorce is not a one size fits all process. This means that the different elements of a divorce, including spousal support, are decided on a case by case basis. In Virginia, spousal support, or alimony, is not automatic, but is at the discretion of the court. But, there are economic as well as other factors that a Virginia court will use to help determine if alimony should be awarded. So here is a brief look at some of the factors that a divorce court will look at.

One of the first factors that a Virginia divorce court will look at when considering alimony is the financial needs and assets of both parties. This means that the court will examine all of the income and assets of the couple as well as their financial obligations. The court will also look into the potential retirement benefits and earning potential for each spouse. The court will not divide up any non-marital property that the couple accrued during their marriage, however, its ownership may be taken into account when assessing a spouse's need for alimony.

Another factor that will help determine if alimony is awarded is if the party seeking alimony has the ability to eventually support oneself. The court will want to know if that spouse has ever held a job and what type of jobs the person held. It will also examine their salary at these jobs and whether this salary level would be able to support them and their children.

A divorce court will also look into the standard of living that was established during the marriage. However, any Virginia resident who is seeking alimony during a divorce may want to speak with a spousal support attorney in order to find out about additional factors that a divorce court will examine when considering an alimony request.

Source:, "Alimony law in the state of Virginia," Accessed July 9, 2016

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