Leesburg Spousal Support Attorney
Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, is a frequent feature in Virginia divorce cases. Courts typically order a higher-earning spouse to pay spousal support, but how much support and for how long depends upon a number of factors. Spousal support is also not automatically awarded in every divorce; instead, it’s necessary to prove one party’s need to receive support as well as the other party’s ability to pay. At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, we can help you work with your divorcing spouse to fashion an agreement on spousal support, including duration and amount of support or an agreement to waive support. When an agreement is not possible and the issue of support remains contested, we’ll provide strong and aggressive representation in court in support of your needs and interests. Read about spousal support in Virginia divorces below, and contact Leesburg spousal support attorneys Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, for help with the issue of spousal support in a Loudoun County or Fairfax County divorce.
What different types of spousal support are there?
There are three different kinds of spousal support in Virginia. These three are:
Periodic payments for a defined duration. Support is ordered, usually on a monthly basis, for a specified time. This type of support is rehabilitative in nature and meant to help the receiving spouse become self-supporting. The duration of support is tied to how long it should take the party to acquire sufficient education, job training or experience to be financially independent. Payments can be terminated early if either spouse dies or if the recipient remarries or moves in with another person in a marriage-like relationship for a year or more.
Periodic payments for an undefined duration. In this scenario, the order for support is open-ended or permanent, with no set date to terminate payments. This type of support is more likely to be awarded in situations where the receiving spouse has a limited ability to enter or re-enter the workforce after a long marriage. These payments can still be terminated upon the death of either party or if the recipient remarries or moves in with another person in a marriage-like relationship for a year or more.
Lump sum. Here the court states one lump amount for one spouse to pay to the other.
The judge in a divorce can order any one of those three types of support or any combination of the three. Also, either in addition to or in lieu of spousal support, the court can reserve the right of a party to receive support in the future. This reservation usually lasts for half the length of the marriage.
How do judges decide spousal support?
When deciding whether to award support, the judge will consider factors such as whether one party’s fault played a role in the divorce, along with over a dozen other factors set out in Virginia family law. These factors include the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, and more. The need of the recipient and financial ability of the payor also come into play.
The parties to the divorce can agree on the type, length and amount of support, or they can agree that no support will be provided. We can help you and your spouse come to an agreement through negotiations or mediation that protects your rights and meets your needs when it comes to spousal support. If the matter is contested, we’ll carefully analyze the full set of relevant factors and present a compelling case to the court that reflects your interests.
What if I can’t wait until the divorce is over for support?
Courts are allowed to order spousal support to be paid temporarily while the divorce proceeding is ongoing. You’ll need to request this from the judge and be able to show why you need it. Getting a temporary award of support does not necessarily mean you will get a final order of support after the divorce.
Call on Schwartz Kalina for Effective Representation in Leesburg Spousal Support Disputes
For help in the determination of spousal support in your Virginia divorce, call Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, for a free, initial telephone consultation with a team of knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated family law attorneys. From our office in Leesburg, our divorce lawyers represent clients throughout Loudoun and Fairfax counties.