Spousal support may be paid in increments over time or in a lump sum.
No. Spousal support, or alimony, is not a given in a Virginia divorce. An attorney experienced in family law can give you a more definite answer about whether you are eligible for or will be required to pay alimony.
There are numerous considerations that guide the process of determining spousal support, and each case is unique. An initial barometer to gauge a situation is to look at the difference between one spouse’s ability to pay compared to the other’s need for sufficient income. For example, if one spouse has put his or her career on hold for the benefit of the family the wage earning spouse may be required to pay alimony.
A spouse may be denied support if it is proven that he or she has committed adultery.
Alimony can be decided by the divorcing couple during mediation or collaboration, or decided by the court should litigation occur.
According to the Code of Virginia (Title 20-107.1) the following will be considered when deciding the nature, amount, and duration of alimony:
Temporary support is available prior to the finalization of a divorce. In Fairfax County, temporary support is determined by guidelines taking into account each party’s incomes. Some surrounding jurisdictions also use the Fairfax County guidelines.
One of the contributing factors in determining the duration of spousal support is the length of the marriage. In shorter marriages, support is commonly paid for a defined duration. In longer marriages alimony may be indefinite.
In any case, absent an agreement otherwise, spousal support ends when either spouse dies or the spouse receiving alimony remarries or is proven to have cohabited with another individual in a relationship analogous to marriage for one year or more.
Typically, yes. The spouse receiving alimony is required to declare the income on his or her taxes. The spouse paying support may deduct the amount from his or her income tax. However, the tax implications of support should be discussed with your attorney.