Beware Modification of Spousal Support Via Property Settlement Agreement

Many couples wisely choose to enter into a Property Settlement Agreement or “PSA instead of litigating their divorce through the courts. This generally includes dividing up assets, debts, and allocation for spousal support payments.

Effective July 1, 2018, all property settlement agreements that award spousal support need to specifically state in writing in the agreement that the support is not modifiable if that is the intent of the parties. The change comes as a result of Senate Bill 614 Amendment to Virginia Code §20-109. If the parties want the support amount or duration to be non-modifiable, it must have the following language “The amount or duration of spousal support contained in this Agreement is not modifiable except as specifically set forth in this Agreement.”

This is a monumental change as previously if the agreement was silent as to modification, the law said the support amount was non-modifiable, no matter what happened in the future, even if factual circumstances had significantly changed. Under the new law, if the agreement is silent as to modification, the law says it is modifiable based upon a showing of a material change in circumstances.

The new change does not affect Property Settlement Agreements entered into before July 1, 2018.

If you have questions about your PSA, or spousal support modification, please contact us at 804-423-1382.