Even in a healthy economy, employment and income can be uncertain. And while Virginia is currently enjoying a relatively low unemployment rate, there is no guarantee that any individual is going to have the same job and level of income that they currently hold and enjoy.
Under some circumstances, the Virginia courts will require one party to pay spousal support to the other after the divorce. This usually occurs when the divorcing couple was involved in a lengthy marriage, one of the spouses gave up his or her job, there’s a large disparity in the spouses’ incomes or one of the parties has a disability. The courts may establish temporary support, to allow time for the dependent party to reestablish his or her livelihood, or it can even be permanent.
Decades ago, when a Virginia couple sought a divorce, there was a foregone conclusion that one of the parties—usually the husband—was going to have to pay alimony or spousal support. While spousal support is no longer ordered in all cases, there are still many circumstances where one party is ordered by the Virginia courts to continue to support the other after the divorce.