Spousal Support. What do you need to know in Virginia divorces?

If you have found yourself in the middle of a divorce or are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you may be wondering if you are entitled to spousal support. Generally, in Virginia spousal support issues arise when the divorcing parties have been married for a significant amount of time and there is a significant gap in income.

To determine if you are entitled to spousal support, it will first depend on whether your divorce was filed on fault or no-fault grounds. If your divorce was filed on fault grounds, such as adultery, and you are the guilty party, you may not be entitled to spousal support. On the flip side, a no-fault divorce may allow for spousal support to either party. A court will look at factors surrounding the dissolution of the marriage, the duration of the marriage, and income and financial needs of the parties to determine the amount of spousal support owed by one spouse to another.

During a divorce proceeding, a court will hear evidence put forward by both sides when making a spousal support determination, and will give their ruling at the conclusion of the case. In the meantime, there is also the availability of temporary spousal support, called pendent lite spousal support. Pendente lite spousal support allows one party to pay the other until the case is over and the divorce is finalized. The amount of pendent lite spousal support is reached by a formula set in the Virginia Code if the parties’ combined monthly gross income is less than or equal to $10,000. Virginia Code § 16.1-278.17:1. A court must follow adhere to the formula, unless there is good cause shown, in which case a court may order a different amount of temporary support.

Depending on the unique factors surrounding each divorce proceeding, it is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney to explore your options. If you have found yourself facing a divorce proceeding and want someone with intimate knowledge of family law, please do not hesitate to contact us at 804-423-1382 or info@wmmlegal.com to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys.