A common issue in divorce concerns spousal support. At Calinger Law, we know how this may affect you. If you need spousal support, this represents a critical flow of income at a time when other sources of income may be short. You and your children may depend on these payments to live. If you may have to pay spousal support, you want to avoid having to pay large sums indefinitely into the future. You also want to minimize the impact this may have on your financial stability.
Courts typically determine spousal support during a divorce proceeding pursuant to Virginia Code 20-107.1. The court has the ability to award support for a limited period, for an indefinite period, or in a lump sum payment.
In Virginia, courts will often follow non-binding guidelines in determining the amount of spousal support. Where a couple has no children, this generally means that the court will take 30 percent of the salary of the higher income spouse and subtract from it fifty percent of the income of the lower earning spouse. Thus, to take a simple example, where one spouse earns $100,000 and the other spouse earns nothing, the guidelines will produce an annual spousal support amount of $30,000. Where a couple does have minor children and spousal support will be paid, a court will normally take twenty-eight percent of the income of the higher earner and subtract fifty-eight percent of the income of the receiving spouse.
The numbers in the guidelines come from the statutory formula used in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court pursuant to Virginia Code 16.1-278.17:1.
Since the guidelines are not binding, your attorney will need to know how to argue for a higher or lower amount. Your attorney will want to interview you about things like your daily living expenses, the expenses of children, and children from any other relationships you may have. Your attorney will need to research all available information about your assets and the assets of your spouse in order to come to an informed recommendation.
At Calinger Law, we have the tools and experience you need in order to succeed. Contact us today to discuss your case.