Successful marriages often require hard work and compromises from both of the people involved. Compromise for you might have meant leaving your career to take care of the house or raise your children.
Since you have a spouse, you can depend on them to earn enough money to provide for your basic needs while you take care of all of the obligations of managing a household. They will certainly benefit from your efforts. Unfortunately, staying home benefits the entire family but not you as an individual.
Leaving the workforce can put you in a vulnerable position if you decide to get divorced. You may not be able to go right back to work but will rather have to re-establish yourself professionally, a process that could take years. Can you ask for alimony as part of your Virginia divorce? What would alimony look like if you receive it?
Virginia does authorize spousal support or maintenance
Alimony, which you may also refer to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is a potential option for those divorcing in Virginia. The state does recognize the right of a dependent spouse to ask for support during divorce proceedings, but in order to get spousal support, you have to ask for it. How much support the courts order and the form that it takes will vary depending on your household circumstances.
The Virginia family courts can structure alimony in several ways
When most people think of spousal maintenance, they probably think of monthly checks, much like what people receive for child support. Routine payments are one form of spousal support, but they are not the only kind permissible under Virginia law.
The courts can also order a one-time lump-sum payment from one spouse to another. If they order routine payments, they may decide to have those payments last for a specific amount of time. That amount of time will reflect how long the courts think it will take you to achieve independence or re-establish your career.
In circumstances where one spouse has severe health issues, both spouses are over retirement age or the spouse receiving support also has full custody of a child with special needs, the court may order permanent support.
Reviewing your marital circumstances and financial situation with the lawyer can give you a better idea about the likelihood of securing support if you file for divorce.