As Virginia residents contemplating divorce may know, support in the form of alimony is sometimes ordered by the court. The higher-earning spouse may be required to pay alimony to help with the living costs of the other partner. A number of factors may be considered by the judge when determining alimony.
An ex-spouse can refuse alimony if he or she wishes. Some individuals refuse alimony if they make enough money to live on or don’t like the idea of getting money from an ex. In addition, an individual may not want to have any further connection with an ex-spouse and prefer to forego the alimony rather than continue any association with him or her.
Some people may have no option but to accept alimony. This can happen if the individual has not been employed for some time, lacks the education to get a job that will pay monthly expenses or needs time to reenter the workforce.
The monthly income of both spouses is one factor in determining spousal support. In addition to basic paychecks, this may include trust income, bonuses or commissions. How long the couple remained married is an additional consideration that may determine how long the payer is obligated to give alimony. In some states, when marriages last 10 years or less, support is ordered for about half that period of time. In marriages that lasted 10 years or more, support may be ordered for a much longer period. Health and age may also be a factor in determining alimony.
An individual contemplating divorce may wish to consult with an attorney. A lawyer may draw up the appropriate documents and advise the individual about alimony and the factors included by the court when determining payment.