If your spouse earned significantly more money than you did during your marriage, it may be possible to ask for alimony as part of a divorce settlement. Generally speaking, Virginia allows spouses to seek maintenance payments until they are able to support themselves financially. There are a variety of factors that will determine the exact amount of a monthly maintenance payment.
How old are you?
As a general rule, older individuals generally have a harder time finding work than younger people. This is because seniors may lack the skills, physical ability or cognitive ability to retain gainful employment. Therefore, if you are over the age of 55 when your divorce takes place, it’s possible that you’ll receive maintenance payments for as long as you are single.
How long were you married to your spouse?
Typically, there is a correlation between the length of your marriage and the amount of your monthly alimony check. Therefore, you’ll likely be entitled to more from your former partner if you were married to that person for 20 years than you would if the marriage only lasted a few months.
Do you have any assets that you can rely on?
If you generate income from a rental property, a brokerage account or other assets, it may impact your ability to obtain spousal maintenance payments. This is because you’ll have money to buy a car, pay rent or handle other expenses that you might incur as a single person. Therefore, the fact that your former spouse makes significantly more money than you might not play as much of a role in divorce settlement talks. In fact, your spouse may offer to give you a larger portion of marital assets in exchange for not having to make alimony payments at all.
A divorce settlement is supposed to put you in a position to maintain a similar lifestyle to the one that you had while married. This may be done by allowing you to obtain maintenance payments from your spouse for a period of several months or years after the marriage ends.