Spousal support issues arise in Virginia divorces where the parties have been married for a substantial length of time and there is a significant gap in their incomes. In these cases, determination of a proper amount and duration of spousal support (called “alimony” in other states) can become very difficult.
Does Virginia have a Spousal Support program?
Unlike child support, Virginia does not have a statewide equation for deciding a “presumptive” quantity of spousal help in all spousal help cases. We do have some neighborhood rules—in Northern Virginia, we have rules from Fairfax and Harrisonburg. These guidelines, are not the slightest bit authoritative on circuit courts in Virginia separate from cases. They don’t set up an authoritative or even possible measure of help; truth be told, our separation courts are normally allowed to totally overlook them.
More than that, these local rules were just intended for building up “pendent lite” spousal support—essentially, transitory spousal help to be paid until the point that the separation is finalized. Likewise, the Fairfax rules (the most imperative of the nearby rules for Northern Virginia cases) incorporate the admonition that they were not intended for “high pay” cases, where the consolidated month to month net pay of the gatherings surpasses $10,000.
Nevertheless, contingent upon the judge and the jurisdiction, circuit courts in Virginia do repeatedly seek these neighborhood rules for help with deciding on an appropriate spousal help sum. Numerous judges will look to these rules as a beginning stage in assessing spousal help.
Things being what they are, how do these rules work? Where the parties have small kids with each other, the Fairfax rules take 28% of the gross salary of the life partner with the higher pay and subtract from that 58% of the gross wage of the other life partner. The outcome is the spousal help sum. Where the parties have no small kids in like manner, the equation changes to 30% of the more generously compensated life partner’s wage less half of the lower paid life partner’s wage. (The Harrisonburg rules follow the same path, yet with various rates).
So, the Fairfax spousal support guidelines could be stated as:
- Cases With Minor Children: 28% x Payor’s Income – 58% x Payee’s Income
- Cases With No Minor Children: 30% x Payor’s Income – 50% x Payee’s Income
The Code of Virginia – § 20-103. Court may make orders pending suit for divorce, custody or visitation, etc.
“Any award or order made by the court pursuant to subsection A shall be paid from the post-separation income of the obligor unless the court, for good cause shown, orders otherwise. Upon the request of either party, the court may identify and state in such order or award the specific source from which the financial obligation imposed is to be paid.”
Virginia Divorce Laws Alimony – call us at 888-437-7747.