Wondering how long do you have to be married to get alimony in Virginia? In Virginia, spousal support awards are often set for 50% of the length of time you have been married (if you have been married for 6-18 years). This means if you have been married for 5 years, you are required to pay or be paid alimony for 2 and a half years.

If you have been married for less than 6 years, it’s presumed that you won’t receive any spousal support unless under special circumstances.

If you have been married for a long time, usually more than 19 years, it’s presumed that you will receive spousal support permanently.

This fact can be hard for some people, so arm yourself with divorce lawyers to help you discuss the issue and help you arrive at a favorable decision and ensure that you are awarded a substantial amount.

You are not entitled to alimony in Virginia.

You should note that while you can be awarded alimony, it doesn’t mean that you are entitled to or have a right to it.

Whether you will be awarded alimony depends on plenty of factors. One of the factors being your need for the payment. Before the judge awards you the alimony, he has to know that you need it. Luckily, it’s easy to show you need the payments as all you need to do is show that your income is lower than your expenses.

If you are confused about how to go about it, talk to your lawyer, and he will help you compile the relevant documents.

The other factor that will determine whether you will get the alimony amount you are asking for is whether the husband or wife has the ability to pay the support. Before the court makes a ruling, it first does thorough analysis and ensures that their income is more than yours and their expenses are lower.

If they can’t make the payments, even if you can demonstrate that you need the payments, you can’t receive it as it’s clear that they can’t support themselves, leave alone support you.

What can terminate your spousal support payments?

You should note that you can stop making the payments if this happens:


When you remarry after divorce, you share responsibility with your new partner, and the burden isn’t as heavy as it used to be, so the paying partner has no reason to continue making the payments.

As the alimony paying partner, you only need to talk to your attorney and present the issue in court, accompanied by the relevant evidence. Once the court determines that your ex has remarried beyond a reasonable doubt, it will automatically end the payments.

Cohabitation for a year or more

Your partner doesn’t have to remarry for you to get some relief from making the payments. You can file for the termination of the payments if you have evidence that your ex has been cohabiting for at least a year with another person in a relationship similar to a marriage.

Like in marriage, when you cohabit with a person for a long time, it’s assumed that you have an easier life, so there is no reason for the paying spouse to continue making the payments.

Death of either party

When the receiving or paying spouse dies, the payments end.

If you are the receiving spouse and rely on the alimony payments to pay your bills, work with your spousal support lawyers Fairfax VA and convince the alimony paying spouse to set up a life insurance policy and name you beneficially.

This way, you are sure that you have some money to get your going even when your ex-partner dies.