Divorcing as the Primary Income Earner

You’ve put your time and hard work into building your career to provide financial support for your family. Perhaps you’ve come to the realization that it’s time to move on, that perhaps divorce is the best option for you. What does that mean for your future? Divorcing as the primary income earner could be challenging, and it may create a scenario where you are unsure how to move forward. 

Perhaps you worked hard to build up your career over the last 25 years, sacrificing time with the kids to ensure that their financial needs are met. Now that you’re considering divorce, you’re wondering if you will have to continue to provide financial support for your spouse–perhaps one that did not work. This can be especially worrisome if the divorce is bitter and you can no longer get along.

Informing you of your rights is our primary goal at The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC. We want to ensure you have the very best tools and resources to make the best decision for your future and that includes planning for financial changes. Meet with our legal team in Fairfax to learn more about the services we offer and how we can guide you.

How to Prepare for Divorce as the Primary Income Earner

Divorcing as the primary income earner means that the other party may seek spousal support. In Virginia, the court must decide if the person is eligible to receive it, and to do that, they evaluate a wide range of factors involved in the divorce. 

For example, if the party that is seeking spousal support has a history of adultery and that led to the divorce, the court may not grant spousal support. If both parties agreed that one would stay home to raise the children, putting their career or ability to work at risk, that could be considered a reason to award spousal support.

The court will need to determine the nature of the support, the amount of the support, as well as the length of time that support will continue. If you are divorcing as the primary income earner, we highly suggest working with a divorce attorney in Fairfax, VA to help you through this legal process, ensuring your rights are protected.

How Could You Be Impacted by Divorce as the Sole Income Earner?

A number of factors play a role in the outcome of the court’s rulings on a divorce. Divorcing as the primary income earner in Fairfax, VA typically requires that you pay spousal support based on factors such as:

  • The income and financial needs of both parties
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The decisions made about careers and economics within the marriage
  • The current and future earning potential of each person 
  • Parenting arrangements made by the couple 
  • Education levels of the parties 
  • Length of time one or both have been in the job market or absent from it

By working with a divorce lawyer, you will learn more about your rights in this situation. For example, in a short marriage where the spouse worked in the last few years, you may not be obligated to provide financial support. Yet, if their ability to stay home with children allowed for you to focus on your career and that helped you to build it up, that could mean you do owe spousal support.

Underemployment or unemployment is a factor that the courts will consider heavily moving into the divorce. If the spouse was voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, that could play a role in the court’s decision.

How Will Being the Primary Income Earner Impact Aspects of Divorce Such as Spousal and Child Support?

The goal of the court is to create a fair divorce settlement whenever it is possible to do so. As a result of that, they will consider a variety of factors that influence the future of all involved. Spousal support is often necessary for a duration of time while the other spouse works to increase their ability to work or their career objectives.

In matters of child support, spousal support is just one component. The court considers the ability of each parent to provide for the needs of the child equally. It is possible that, if you are divorcing as the primary income earner, you will need to provide child support and spousal support if it is deemed necessary to do so based on the circumstances in your marriage.

Overview of the Rights of a Primary Income Earner in a Divorce

Virginia is an equitable distribution state. This means that property is not necessarily divided evenly. Instead, the court determines what is considered a fair division of the property. Divorcing as the primary income earner may indicate, then, that all assets are split in a way deemed fair by the courts. This includes real estate, vehicles, personal property, pensions, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and anyother business interests.

The law requires careful consideration of factors such as the age, income, and employability of all parties. It also considers debts and liabilities, including how they were acquired as well as the length of the marriage.

As the primary income earner, you must realize the importance of having a divorce attorney in Fairfax, VA available to discuss your case with you. While you may understand the need for spousal support, you may not have to provide it for long and the amount of spousal support should be properly determined based on the circumstances of your case.

Our goal is not only to help ensure fair and equitable division of assets, but also to ensure your future has the resources needed to support your needs.

Contact Our Divorce Attorney to Learn How to Protect Your Rights

Don’t make a decision about divorcing as the primary income earner in Virginia without the help of an attorney to guide you. Contact The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC today to discuss your case with a highly experienced divorce attorney serving Fairfax, VA and all of Northern Virginia. 

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