Involved With a Spousal Support Dispute in the Northern Virginia Area?
Spouses do not have an absolute right to spousal support (also commonly referred to as “alimony”). However, it is common for the courts to award spousal support to the dependent spouse, especially in marriages where one spouse supports the family and the other spouse works part-time or stays home with the children. When deciding on spousal support, courts look at a number of statutory factors, including:
- The obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties
- The education, training and ability of each spouse to secure such education and training
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- Both monetary and non-monetary contributions of the parties during the marriage
- Tax consequences
Under Virginia law, the court must consider all the statutory factors, though it may choose to weigh them differently. Because of the complexities associated with spousal support, it is important to retain the assistance of an attorney who can guide you through this process.
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support is awarded “pendent lite” or while the divorce litigation is pending. This allows the dependent spouse to continue receiving support he or she received during the marriage until the divorce is finalized. The following other orders may be made pendent lite:
- Temporary residence of the marital home
- Temporary child support
- Temporarily freezing the marital estate
- Temporary custody and visitation
Once the divorce decree is entered, the court is no longer bound by the pendent lite order.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support
Rehabilitative spousal support is a form of support that is paid for a set period of years. The purpose of this form of support is to help the caretaker spouse to transition back into the workforce. Rehabilitative spousal support is typically set for a relatively short period of time, usually two to six years.
Permanent Spousal Support
Permanent spousal support is paid until the death of either party or the remarriage of the dependent spouse, whichever occurs first. Although not as common as rehabilitative spousal support, permanent alimony can be ordered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Modification of Spousal Support
Depending on the award of spousal support, a spouse may seek to modify the spousal support award to alter the amount of the award or possibly change the duration of the support. Modification of spousal support is a complex matter and it is best to have an attorney assist you with this matter.
Providing Legal Representation in Spousal Support
If you are involved in a legal matter involving spousal support, the attorneys at Dua Law Firm, PLLC, are available to assist you. Our attorneys understand the pressures and difficulties associated with spousal support and we explain each step of the legal process to our clients to put their minds at ease. Please feel free to contact our office today for assistance.
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