Permanent spousal support in Virginia typically occurs when one of a few elements exist in a case. Either the marriage has been of a very long duration, the recipient spouse has not been fully employed for many years, or the recipient spouse has some sort of debilitating condition or illness that prohibits them from working. That would be a case where permanent spousal support would be considered, as well.
If you are looking to determine the amount of permanent spousal support you or a recipient spouse may owe, it is crucial to consult with a Virginia alimony lawyer as soon as possible.
A person might be more likely to receive permanent spousal support in Virginia if, for example, it was a long-term marriage where one spouse did not work outside of the house or when one spouse is capable of working and earning money and the other person is not capable, based on some sort of condition or debilitating decease.
Rehabilitative spousal support is something that the court will consider when a person has the ability to improve, in the short term, their education and experiences and allow that person to earn a lot more money. So, often this is seen in cases where a person has a spouse who is still fairly young and a person might have the ability to finish a degree or take some other steps to gain certain skills that would increase their earning potential. In those cases, the court will award spousal support that is designed to be rehabilitated, meaning support long enough to allow them to increase earning capacity and earn enough money to support their financial needs.
Spousal support in Virginia is never guaranteed for life. It is an unpredictable thing and because there is no formula, the court can do whatever it believes is the right thing to do based on the statutory factors.
The law says that if a person asks for a reservation of spousal permanent spousal support in Virginia, which is the ability to ask for support in the future, the court must award it to them. People might ask for a reservation of spousal support if they think that things are going to change financially for themselves or the other party in the future.
For example, if somebody has no financial need at the time of the hearing because they experienced the windfall of income, but they do not reasonably believe that income is going to continue into the future, they could ask for a reservation of spousal support. The court is not warranted at the time of the hearing, but could legitimately be warranted at some point in the future.
Lump Sum Payments
Sometimes, parties will agree between themselves to make a lump sum spousal support in Virginia, because they prefer not to be dealing with monthly payments for many years in the future. If they have the ability to do so, they might agree that the money will be paid up front in one lump sum, so that the parties do not need to continue dealing with each other for purposes of monthly payments.
Courts can sometimes award lump sum spousal support if they are concerned, for example, that the payor spouse might be planning or have coming some event that would negatively impact their earnings where the finances to pay support might exist at the time of the hearing. In cases like that, the court can make spousal support awards be done in one lump sum.
In a case where parties are earning or have the capacity to earn incomes that are fairly similar, Virginia permanent spousal support would not be an issue. The court will not award it. Also, where a person asking for spousal support does not have the financial need or the person that they are asking to pay does not have the financial ability to supplement the recipient spouse income, permanent spousal support in Virginia would not be awarded.
Typically, permanent spousal support in Virginia would end with the death of one of the parties. Support will also end upon remarriage of the party receiving support or if the party receiving support is living in a romantic relationship with the person for a period in excess of one year.