Even when it is for the best, divorce can be a financially strenuous process. You might go from a double income household to living off just your own paycheck. Maybe you stayed home with your children or were a caretaker for a loved one, which means that your current job prospects are not the best. This is on top of splitting up your marital assets, which also affects your finances. The good news is that spousal support can help.
Also called alimony, spousal support can be key to your future financial stability. However, your ex might not be thrilled at the idea of having to pay. Better understanding what factors influence spousal support can help you protect your own interests.
Do I even qualify for spousal support?
Not every divorce involves spousal support. Some people earned roughly the same amount at the time of divorce while others simply were not married long enough. Here are a few things that may help determine whether you are entitled to support:
- Length of your marriage
- Marital lifestyle
- Your needs
- Your ex’s ability to pay
Both you and your ex’s age and health are also considerations when it comes to spousal support. If you have minor children, then that will also be a factor for determining your need for support. Some judges even consider non-marital assets when thinking about spousal support.
Can I go back to school?
Some judges include rehabilitative maintenance into support orders. Rehabilitative maintenance is a temporary form of financial support for people who need a little extra help breaking back into the job market. This is generally for spouses who took time off work during marriage, although it can apply in other situations too.
Rehabilitative maintenance gives recipients the time they need to get back on their feet and develop financial independence. For a lot of people, this means going back to school. Others simply need a little extra time to develop new skills for their old career path.
I’m worried about my future
Divorce can unfairly impact spouses who earn less than their partners or who do not work at all. It is understandable to feel worried about the future, but you can take proactive steps to address those concerns. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to simply learn as much as possible about the divorce process.
Unfortunately, Virginia family law can be complicated. You might think that you understand everything you need to know about spousal support, only to later realize that was not the case. Do not go through this all alone. Instead, be sure to seek out the guidance of an experienced attorney. When you choose to work with a knowledgeable attorney, you are also choosing to prioritize your needs.