What is alimony, and how is it determined in Virginia?

            Alimony is an amount of money, either paid in a lump sum or over the course of a certain amount of time, that one spouse gives to the other following a divorce. In Virginia, the amount and payment schedule are settled between the spouses, and if that cannot be decided between the two, a judge will make the final determination. There are many factors that go into establishing alimony, including the following:

  • how long the couple had been married
  • net worth of each spouse
  • earning potential of each spouse
  • spouse or family health issues (age-related, physical, or mental impairments)
  • living standards set over the course of the marriage
  • one spouse’s contribution to the other’s attainment of a career or an education

          Permanent alimony—payments granted until the death of one spouse—used to be the most common form of alimony, but as job and educational opportunities between the sexes have become more equalized, that trend has changed. While it is still an option in Virginia, permanent alimony is being eliminated in several states undergoing law reform. Now, a common type of  alimony that is granted is called rehabilitative alimony. This form still involves the above-mentioned factors, but only lasts until the spouse receiving support has enough to become employed and financially independent.

          With offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia, our firm is ready to take your call about any family law issues you may be facing, including divorce, custody and support matters. You are also welcome to request a free copy of Smith Strong PLC Founder H. Van Smith’s latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Divorce & Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life.

          Have all of your alimony questions answered. Call 804-325-1245 or 757-941-4298 to schedule a SMARTSTART comprehensive case preparation meeting with one of our Commonwealth of Virginia family law attorneys.

H. Van Smith
Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg