Spousal support is a financial assistance policy that tries to limit the effects of a divorce on a family. There are various spousal support laws that vary with different states, but Virginia has no such guidelines for setting the amount and duration for the spousal support. It is solely the judge’s discretion to decide the amount and time period of the support, it can either be a permanent spousal support or pendente lite spousal support (basically temporary support till the court reaches on a final verdict for the case).
This decision is not as easy one to make as the judges have too many variables to look at before they can decide the proper time period and amount of the support. There are a few predetermined sets of guidelines that a judge can use as a starting point for making the decision, like guidelines from Harrisonburg and Fairfax. Keeping in mind that these sets were only meant to be used in cases that needed the support temporarily and not permanently. So variables like duration of marriage, standards of living, the incomes of both the partners, weather they both were employed at the time of marriage if not then the homemaker who gave up on his or her career has all the right to get the support, the ability of the supporting party to pay, all have a drastic effect on the decision taken.
For instance if it was a long term marriage that lasted for more than 10 years, then the spousal support agreed upon would be permanent as the homemaker has invested a huge chunk of his time into the family and marriage, and if it is a short term marriage that lasts for less than 10 years, then the payee has to bare the support charges for half of the duration they were together for. This period is loosely calculated so the divorced recipient to take on with the studies and job training required to carry on life at a soothing pace. And these durations and amounts tend to vary with every case as no two parties can have exactly the same case. For instance a couple with a minor child would be treated differently in question to one who doesn’t as then child support also comes onto play, a partner accused with adultery is barred from spousal support even if he is the one who has given more for the marriage.
The recipient is free to accept the spousal support in any form they please, accepting regular monthly payments is the most common way chosen, but they are free to take and accept one time lump sum payments from their spouse if both the partners agree, they can also take assets and certain other expenses catered instead of regular support, and the parties can also agree on whether the amount decided stays the same or changes by a certain percentage with time throughout the period of support.