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Alimony in Virginia – What you need to know

Posted on: August 13, 2021

When researching Alimony in the state of Virginia, it can be confusing to find out what your rights are and where you stand within the law. We have put together a basic outline of Alimony in Virginia.

What is alimony?

We typically call alimony spousal support in Virginia. In layman’s terms, spousal support is payment from one spouse to another. Spousal support can be pendente lite (while the divorce is pending) and can continue post-divorce as well.

Who qualifies for alimony?

In a broad stroke, pretty much anyone who is married but looking to separate or is separated from their spouse. Now, that said, whether you qualify is a very fact-specific inquiry, and a consultation with an attorney is highly advised.

As a general rule of thumb, however, if there’s a significant income disparity between you and your spouse (if you are a stay-at-home-mom, for example), you are more likely to qualify for spousal support.

How much alimony would someone get?

There’s no magic number. It’s important to keep in mind that in Virginia, there is no presumptive spousal support award. Instead, § 20-107.1 of the Code of Virginia mandates that that Circuit Court consider the circumstances and factors which contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including adultery and any other ground for divorce, in determining whether or not to award spousal support. And further, § 20-107.1 mandates the Circuit Court consider 13 statutory factors a court in deciding the nature, amount, and duration of a spousal support award. Basically, it depends on your specific facts.

Why would someone not get alimony?

The most common reason is adultery. The spouse committing adultery is said to be ‘barred’ from receiving spousal support. Now, that said, adultery is not an absolute bar. There exist affirmative defenses as well as other carve-outs, such as manifest injustice, that allow for an award of spousal support even for someone who committed adultery. But it’s a very uphill battle.

Can you change alimony allocations?

The short answer is ‘maybe.’ § 20-109 of the Code of Virginia governs if and when a spousal support award could be changed. Again, it gets complicated and a consultation with an attorney is highly advised. But suffice to say, sometimes, a spousal support award can be changed, and sometimes, it cannot.

What to look for when selecting an Alimony Lawyer?

The attorneys at Graham Law Firm, PLLC are skilled negotiators and litigations and hold certifications in both mediation and Collaborative Divorce.

Our goal is to help you achieve the best outcome given your circumstances. This includes time with your children, assets from the marriage, and reducing your liability for any outstanding bills you have as a couple. A divorce can be difficult, but the right attorney can help you through the process. We can assist you throughout the process and guide you through this difficult time.

Alimony Attorney in Northern Virginia

If you are looking to file for divorce in the state of Virginia, the family law attorneys at Graham Law can help.

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