While there are guidelines in place for spousal support on a temporary basis, long-term support is usually decided by balancing one party’s needs against the other party’s ability to pay. Various factors are taken into consideration, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, contributions that each spouse made to the family, the educational level of each spouse, the earning capacity of each spouse, and other relevant factors unique to your situation. Very often the support is agreed upon by the parties and included in an agreement that the parties sign before finalizing the divorce. Family Law Associates of Richmond can assist you in determining the appropriate level of support for your situation, and can employ the services of a vocational expert or financial expert when needed.
Spousal support, also known as “alimony”, can sometimes be one of the more difficult determinations to be made in the divorce process. There are tax consequences that need to be taken into consideration as spousal support may be included as income by the “payee” or person receiving the support, and may be deductible by the “payor” or the person paying the support. However, certain requirements must be in place before this becomes effective.