How Long Do You Have to Pay Spousal Support?

A common issue that is litigated in many Virginia divorce cases is the payment of spousal support from the higher earning spouse to the lesser earning spouse during and after divorce proceedings. One of the most common questions our office fields from spouses is how long do you have to pay spousal support once the divorce is finalized, and the answer is that it depends on the type of support awarded as well as the circumstances of the spouses following the divorce. At Kurylo, Gold & Josey our team is prepared to answer this and any other questions that you may have about your divorce case. Call or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.

Types of Virginia Spousal Support

There are multiple types of spousal support that a spouse may receive during and after a divorce is finalized in Virginia. Temporary support (also called pendente lite support) may be awarded while the divorce is ongoing, but it terminates upon the finalization of the divorce. The second type of alimony is rehabilitative spousal support, which provides financial support for a former spouse while they get the education or training required to enter or reenter the workforce. Usually, rehabilitative alimony is limited to the length of time required to get the degree, certificate, or training required for their career.

The last type of spousal support is permanent alimony, which is of indefinite duration. Permanent alimony is reserved for special cases, where the spouse receiving support payments cannot become financially self-sufficient because of their age, disability, or other factor that limits their ability to enter the workforce. Permanent spousal support continues in perpetuity typically until one spouse dies or the spouse receiving support remarries, but can generally be modified by a court in a future proceeding if there is material change in circumstances.

Right to Reserve the Request

Virginia law also allows a spouse the right to reserve the request for spousal support after the divorce is finalized; however, there is a presumption that the reservation should be limited to one-half the length of the marriage. For example, a spouse could make a request for support within three years for a six-year marriage.

Changes in Circumstances

You may also be able to change the length of time that spousal support payments are made if one or both spouses have a change in circumstances after the divorce. Examples include job loss, remarriage of the recipient spouse, and health issues that significantly impact the financial situation of the former spouse paying or receiving alimony payments. Talk to a divorce attorney today to see whether your situation qualifies.

How Long Do You Have To Pay Spousal Support? Contact a Lawyer Today To Learn More

If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Virginia divorce attorney about spousal support payments in your case, call the office or contact us at Kurylo, Gold & Josey today to schedule a consultation.

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Matt Kurylo

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