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Can you seek spousal support after a divorce?

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, is financial assistance that a person provides to their former spouse and that can last for varying lengths of time. Not every Virginia couple that goes through a divorce will have a spousal support agreement or order attached to their final decree, as spousal support is not necessary in all cases. In some divorces, the parties to the action will leave the marriage with sufficient wealth and income to support themselves without requiring spousal support.

A party who desires spousal support generally must request it. They may file a petition for support that describes why they should be awarded financial support after their marriage ends. Certain factors can be influential in a court's consideration of whether spousal support should be awarded to a requesting party.

First, a court may consider the length of time that the partners were joined in marriage. Over the course of a long-term marriage, one spouse may become more financially dependent on the other than spouses in short-term marriages would become on each other, and therefore when long-term marriages end spousal support may be more likely to be awarded.

Also, a court will review the standard of living at which the couple lived to determine if and how much a requesting spouse should receive from their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Individuals of poor health, advanced age and who may require significant education advancements or training to become employable all may have reasonable cases for requesting support from their ex-spouses.

A good way to evaluate one's potential for receiving spousal support is to discuss it with a family law attorney. Lawyers who work in the divorce field can provide their clients with the information they need to make responsible case-specific choices about spousal support and other important legal matters.

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