Some depend on it, others think it’s archaic and unfair, but spousal support remains part of Virginia family law. Also known as alimony, spousal support is a payment. Typical alimony payments are made monthly, from one spouse to another to assist in meeting expenses. Even a spouse with a job may need some spousal support. Similarly, sometimes the spouse of someone who is finding it difficult to make ends meet will not be required to pay spousal support, for a variety of reasons.
Spousal support in Northern Virginia can either be for a defined or an undefined duration. That means that a court can either decide ahead of time that spousal support will end by a certain time, or the length can be left open ended for future determination. To persuade a judge to select a date by which spousal support will end, one must show some event or reason that makes the date logical. Even then if the court sets a date, that date might be subject to change if the events do no play out as anticipated. Contrary to what some believe, there is no law or rule that says alimony cannot exceed half the duration of the marriage.
Northern Virginia Spousal Support Calculation
The calculation of alimony and child support differs from one another. Child support depends on statewide guidelines. Spousal support depends on the court’s discretion after weighing a number of factors in an effort to decide what amount would be appropriate under all of the circumstances.
When the court sets spousal support, the amount will be modifiable. That means that if there is something significant that changes in the future in either party’s income or need for support, it is possible to go back to the court and request a recalculation of spousal support. When parties settle, one of the terms they have to negotiate is whether spousal support will be negotiable. By agreement, a couple might decide that the amount cannot be changed in the future.
Spousal support normally ends upon the death of either party, the remarriage of the party receiving alimony, or if the recipient cohabits in a relationship analogous to marriage for a year or longer. Parties can negotiate for other termination events as well.
Top Alimony Lawyer in Northern Virginia
The spousal support lawyers at Masterman Krogmann can assist with all alimony issues, including the amount, duration, termination events, and modifiability. We have experience in dealing with cases involving high income parties in which spousal support was awarded, both in securing such awards and in opposing the award of excessively high amounts.