Determining Alimony During Divorce in Virginia

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Divorce can be a very stressful process, especially if you are concerned about determining alimony during divorce in Virginia.  Spousal support is often a factor that complicates the process, and can be confusing to those who are just beginning to file for divorce.  When considering alimony Virginia laws have some specific rules you should be aware of.

What is Alimony?

Before learning about alimony Virginia specifics, make sure that you understand the what alimony is and who pays it.  Alimony, by definition, is a legal arrangement that deals with finances between couples who are divorced or who are legally separated.  This arrangement involves one partner making regular payments to his or her ex-spouse, either for short term or long term periods.  Alimony is for couples that have at one time been legally married.

In the past, it was assumed that a married couple was comprised of a partner who worked and a partner who managed the household.  This meant that the provider had to award the partner who stayed home money as alimony when a marriage dissolved, because the contract of marriage had promised the domestic partner financial support for life, since although unpaid, domestic partners made significant contributions to the marriage.

How Alimony is Determined in Virginia

In Virginia, pendente lite support can be awarded legally, which is a temporary support amount that can affect how much money will be given as alimony in a divorce case:

  • If the partners cannot agree on a pendente lite for supporting one spouse, the spouses will be required to document their monthly income and expenses to determine legally who can be financially responsible for themselves and who needs the support of the other financially. 
  • The court then will award the alimony so as to help the partner in need temporarily help them meet their financial obligations.

The Formula

The Farifax Country in Virginia sets the formula that is used to determine alimony.  The formula is as follows: 

To arrive at the temporary amount for pendente lite:

  • Determine what 30 percent of the payor's gross monthly income is
  • Subtract 50 percent of the gross monthly income of the person who will be receiving the alimony

Child support must also be factored in. To determine child support, the gross income of the person paying should be multiplied by 28 percent, and then 58 percent of the recipients gross income should be subtracted from that number.

Getting Help

These guidelines are what determines alimony, but often the court deviates from this formula and attorneys are able to sometimes argue that in a particular case, a different formula is more appropriate. If you are involved in a divorce in Virginia, the best thing to do is to get help from an experienced divorce or family law attorney who can help make sure you get the best and fairest alimony settlement possible.

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