Questions Concerning Spousal Support
Answers from a Northern Virginia Spousal Support Attorney
Many people assume that they are entitled to
spousal support after they have separated from their spouse. Unfortunately, obtaining
support from your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be much more difficult than
you originally anticipated. Let a Northern Virginia divorce lawyer from
our law firm help you find the answers you need in regards to spousal
support! Below are several questions and answers concerning this topic:
How can I get spousal support and how long can I receive payment?
There are no hard and fast guidelines for determining either the amount
or duration of spousal support in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Most jurisdictions
follow temporary (pendente lite) spousal support guidelines, which may
be used to calculate support pending a formal determination of final support.
The touchstone consideration for determining whether and how much spousal
support may be required is one spouse's financial need balanced against
the other's ability to pay. If the
divorce will leave one spouse with very little income and the other with sufficient
income to contribute support, generally the court will award support.
In the classic case, spousal support is awarded to a homemaker who has
put his/her career on hold for the benefit of the family and paid by the
wage-earning spouse who has worked during the marriage and enjoyed the
benefit of a steadily increasing income. In short-term marriages of say
less than ten (10) years, that assistance may continue for a period to
enable the recipient spouse to further his/her education, receive job
training and reestablish him/herself in the workforce. For longer term
marriages of, such rehabilitation may not be possible and support may
continue indefinitely. No two parties' circumstances are the same
and thus support amounts and durations tend to vary.
May I accept spousal support in a lump sum payment instead of a monthly payment?
Yes, you are free to agree on spousal support in nearly any form you wish.
Though accepting regular monthly payments for a specific duration is most
common, spouses can agree to one-time, lump sum payments, transfers of
assets or payment of certain expenses in lieu of "regular" support.
The parties may also agree that the support amount either increase or
decrease over time to account for the recipient spouse's financial needs.
What factors will the court consider when setting the permanent spousal support?
The following are some of the factors the court will consider in order
- The earning capacity of each party, including their education, skills and
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The supporting party's ability to pay;
- The parties' respective contributions to the marriage;
- The needs of each party including the minor children;
- The duration of the marriage; and
- The tax consequences to the parties.
Spousal Support Lawyer Serving Northern Virginia
At ShounBach our legal team has over 200 years of collective experience.
We provide high-quality, dedicated legal attention for any type of divorce or
family law case we take on. Our attorneys understand how difficult this may be for
you and your family, and we want you to know that you have our support
through the entire process. All of the attorneys at our law firm are very
dedicated, driven and extremely knowledgeable in their specific areas
of the law. Do not wait any longer before calling our law firm.
Contact a Northern Virginia spousal support attorney
from our law offices today to get all of the answers you need.