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Alimony: What Do I Need to Know About Spousal Support?

Navigating the aftermath of a divorce can seem overwhelming. Several aspects of a couple’s life need to be discussed to determine who receives certain assets and any property owned by either spouse.  Many individuals have questions about the financial aspects of their divorce, including necessary spousal support that needs to be paid. At Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC., we’re here to help divorcing couples in Virginia understand alimony payments and how this will impact their life after divorce. 

What Is Alimony?

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is continued financial payments made from one spouse to the other to ensure that each spouse is financially secure after divorce. This court-ordered obligation is not always found necessary in every divorce case, so Virginia couples should not automatically assume that they need to pay alimony after their divorce. If it’s determined that a spouse should pay alimony, the amount will vary depending on the spouse’s needs and the payee’s financial capabilities. 

How Is Alimony Determined in Virginia Divorces?

Unlike certain states, Virginia doesn’t have an exact calculation for how much alimony a spouse is required to pay. The court must consider several factors before deciding how much a spouse should be required to pay to ensure that both spouses will be financially supported after divorce. For example, the court will analyze spouses’ incomes and financial needs. They will also consider the property each spouse owns and evaluate which spouse will be the primary caretaker for any children to determine an amount to request from the payee. If individuals desire to have a general idea of how alimony might be determined in their case, they can turn to Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC., for guidance. 

Will My Spousal Support Payments Change After Divorce?

There may be circumstances where spouses want support payments to be altered after their divorce. Virginia allows spouses to request either an increase or decrease in spousal payments, depending on their specific needs. To do so, a motion must be made in court that requests the modification. However, it’s important that spouses understand that a change in alimony can’t occur if the terms of their original divorce prohibited modifications to spousal support payments. This is known as fixed alimony and is typically paid up-front instead of waiting for recurring payments. Fixed alimony will not be able to be modified, so couples should ensure that their agreement allows for modification if this is a concern for the future. 

How Can a Virginia Attorney Help Me?

Understanding spousal support payments doesn’t have to be a confusing process. An attorney at Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC. can help spouses understand how spousal support is relevant to their case and what this means for them post-divorce. Our expert attorneys know how to advocate for our client’s rights and support them with their legal needs. 

Contact Our Virginia Attorneys Today

Contact our team today if you have questions regarding spousal support in Virginia divorces. We look forward to speaking with you soon.