In Virginia, three factors affect whether or not a person will receive spousal support, how much, and for how long. The duration of payments is determined by a judge in Virginia family court. States that still have permanent alimony are New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, and Oregon. Changing maintenance and support for a spouse; effect of stipulations as to maintenance and support for a spouse; cessation upon cohabitation, remarriage, or death; effect of retirement According to the Virginia Bar’s website, the courts have broad discretion in fashioning alimony, or spousal support awards. The law sets out a formula for the courts to use when calculating temporary, or pendente lite, support. . Temporary Spousal Support Formula. How long must alimony be paid? It is unconstitutional!!!! For changing or terminating support payments, see the Code of Virginia 20-109. Table of Contents » Title 20. Permanent Spousal Support (Alimony) in Virginia. Alimony length is usually based on length of marriage - one commonly used standard for alimony duration is that 1 year of alimony is paid every three years of marriage (however, this is not always the case in every state or with every judge). When a single income couple is facing a divorce, especially after a lengthy marriage, the non-working spouse may ask for permanent spousal support. In some of these states, bills and motions have been presented to end the practice of permanent alimony—in favor of modifications in rehabilitative, temporary, or reimbursement alimony. As of 2011, the state reformed their alimony laws to catch up with the rest of the country establishing a maximum duration for spousal support. Divorce, Affirmation and Annulment » § 20-109. Although many states are reforming lifetime alimony laws, there are still commentators who support this outcome where a spouse is disabled or unable to enter the job market. Code of Virginia. This is not child support and this is not an effort to eliminate alimony. Modification of Spousal Support When a Separation Agreement Is Silent About Modification The last state in the country to continue to award long-term or permanent alimony was Massachusetts. The 2018 session of the Virginia General Assembly made some major changes to the Virginia Code that will affect the issue of the modification of spousal support in Virginia starting July 1, 2018. Even if an ex-spouse becomes sufficiently independent, lifetime alimony continues. Temporary support provides financial help to a spouse until the divorce decree becomes final. There is no automatic spousal support in Virginia. Permanent support may also be awarded in situations where both parties are employed outside the home, but have significant differences in their incomes. Domestic Relations » Chapter 6. Sources. There may be some exceptions, however, depending on how payments are made. 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