Alimony or spousal support, as the Virginia courts refer to it, is a payment from one ex-spouse to the other for financial maintenance after a divorce. It is not paid in all divorces. It also has limits and various terms. Payments are pretty dependent on the situation and the marriage. The Code of Virginia explains the exact guidance judges are given when making a determination about spousal support.
All evidence and information about the marriage and divorce can be used to make a judgement on alimony payments. A judge will typical consider the financial setup during the marriage, the lifestyle of the couple and the earnings of each spouse. Children and custody will also be considered if applicable. Other factors, such as debts, capital gains, investments, life insurance policies and retirement accounts may also factor into the judge's decision.
Spousal support is designed to help the person receiving it avoid financial hardship due to the divorce. In some cases, it is awarded to allow you to maintain the standard of living you were used to in the marriage. In other cases, you may get it to help you get back on your feet. This is especially true if you did not previous work and need to acquire training or find employment.
Spousal support is often determined in a similar way to child support with many of the same considerations. However, the two are independent of each other. Just because you are awarded child support, it does not mean you will automatically receive alimony. This information is for education and is not legal advice.