When a marriage ends, there are a variety of issues that need to be sorted out, including child custody arrangements, child support payments, and the details of alimony. Alimony is defined as a husband’s or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after a divorce, and it generally involves monetary payments used to financially support one spouse. While some couples are able to make decisions about spousal support on their own, if a mutual agreement cannot be reached, legal counsel may be needed to assist in the process. Find out more about the types of alimony in Virginia, factors that contribute to the court’s award of alimony, and when you should call in an attorney for assistance. If you live in Northern Virginia we are Fairfax divorce lawyers that can discuss your case with you.
Types of Alimony in Virginia
In Virginia, spousal support or alimony can be divided into three main categories:
-Permanent Alimony: This form may be awarded in cases where the marriage has lasted for a considerable length of time. Payments may continue until the person that is receiving them remarries or one of the former spouses dies.
-Rehabilitative Alimony: This alimony payment is generally awarded for a certain period of time so that one spouse is able to get back on their feet and achieve financial independence. This time frame can be fixed or it may be extended indefinitely until the spouse achieves the necessary education or skills needed to enter the workforce.
-Lump Sum Alimony: A lump sum alimony payout is a one-time-only payment of property or cash. The spouse who receives the alimony will not receive any additional payments.
Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA can help you to get the best possible alimony settlement for your situation.
Considerations in Awarding Alimony
When deciding on whether or not to award alimony and the amount that should be provided, the court will consider a variety of factors:
-Duration of the marriage
-Standard of living that was established throughout the marriage
-Financial resources, needs, and obligations of the spouses
-Age and health of the spouses, including physical and mental conditions
-Contributions made by each spouse to the family, including monetary and non-monetary contributions.
-The financial assets of each spouse
-Provisions regarding the distribution of marital property
-The extent to which a spouse contributed to the education, profession, training, or career position of the other spouse
-The earning capacity and available employment opportunities for both spouses
-Whether adultery contributed to the demise of the marriage
-The ability and opportunity for both spouses to obtain education and other training that might enhance earning ability
-Decisions regarding parenting and work made by the spouses during the marriage
-Other factors, such as tax consequences for reach spouse
When possible, mediation lawyers in Fairfax can help divorcing spouses to mediate the divorce process, to determine appropriate spousal support, and to divide property how they wish. This will give you more control over the process rather than allowing the judge to decide your fate.
When an Attorney is Needed
Many divorcing couples are able to work out the thorny details of spousal support and property division within a contract called a separation agreement. This agreement can be drawn before or after the parties file their petition for divorce, even if they still live together. It spells out the legal obligations and rights of each spouse without involving the court. If alimony is agreed upon in the settlement agreement and that agreement is incorporated into the final order of divorce, the court will not have the power to change it.
If you and your spouse are unable to come to a mutual agreement regarding how you will divide marital property and whether alimony will be paid, it is likely in your best interest to search for divorce lawyers in Fairfax VA. By choosing one of best alimony lawyers in Northern Virginia, you will enjoy a variety of benefits:
-Expert advice: An experienced divorce attorney can help you ensure that you fulfill your goals and satisfy your needs during a divorce. If your marriage has complicated issues to settle, such as spousal support or child custody disputes, an attorney will be an invaluable resource.
-Avoid delays: Without the assistance of an attorney, you may struggle with the paperwork required by the court. This could delay the date your divorce is finalized significantly. An attorney will ensure that your divorce is completed as fast as possible.
-Reduced stress: Divorces are extremely stressful for everyone involved. Hiring a divorce attorney can help to reduce this stress, as he or she will take care of the legal work while you have more time and energy to devote to your family.
-Prevent mistakes: The legal system is extremely complicated, and when combined with the stress of divorce, it is easy to see why so many people make mistakes when they don’t have the assistance of a good divorce attorney. Even a seemingly simple mistake can make a significant impact in a divorce proceeding, so hiring an attorney will allow you to feel confident that your case is being handled properly.
-Clear agreements: An alimony attorney will allow you to make certain that legal documents that are presented to the court accurately outline your wishes. If you are concerned that a former spouse may refuse to pay a valid alimony order, Virginia law will allow the court to enter an income deduction order, and a Fairfax-based attorney can help you to pursue this legal option.