Spousal SupportExperienced, Respected, Trusted Family Law Guidance
Fairfax Spousal Support Lawyers
Highly Experienced Trial Attorneys to Guide You Through an Unpredictable Dispute
Spousal support is the most unpredictable divorce issue our attorneys handle at Hicks Crandall Juhl, P.C. Local attorneys commonly joke that there are 15 judges in Fairfax County Circuit Court and 30 personalities. In no area of the law does this ring truer than in spousal support cases.
In most other areas of family law, attorneys can give a fairly narrow range of potential outcomes should they litigate your case, though in alimony cases the amount and length of support awarded by one judge may vary greatly from an award by another judge given the same set of facts, making spousal support one of the most unpredictable divorce disputes. That being said, our trial lawyers are well-prepared to offer you the legal guidance to navigate such an unpredictable situation and will do our best to help you respond appropriately.
Two Types of Alimony in Virginia
Virginia offers two types of alimony or spousal support – rehabilitative support and permanent support. Rehabilitative support is designed to help a spouse get back on their feet and eventually become self-supporting. It may be provided to allow a person who has been out of the workforce to update their skills through additional training or education. Note that rehabilitative support is generally awarded in shorter marriages (marriages lasting fewer than 20 years) and has a defined duration, such as 1 year or longer.
Permanent support is not necessarily literally permanent. It is, more accurately, alimony that does not have a defined termination date. Permanent spousal support may be awarded to men as well as women, and it is generally awarded in long-term marriages or in cases where a spouse’s health issues or age makes it difficult for them to become self-sufficient. The party paying spousal support can return to court to modify or terminate payments if their financial circumstances have changed or if the recipient spouse remarries or begins cohabiting with another person.
Factors Impacting a Spousal Support Decision
If the court decides that spousal support is appropriate, they will consider several factors to determine the type and amount of support. These factors could be:
- the obligations, needs, and financial resources of the spouses, including income from pension, profit sharing, or retirement plans;
- the couple's standard of living during the marriage;
- the duration of the marriage;
- the age, physical and mental condition of the parties, and any special circumstances of the family;
- the extent to which the age or the physical or mental condition of any child makes it appropriate that a spouse not seek employment outside of the home;
- the contributions (monetary and non-monetary) of each spouse to the well-being of the family;
- the property interests of both parties;
- how the marital property has been divided;
- each spouse's earning capacity, including skills, education, and training;
- the opportunity for and ability of a spouse to acquire the appropriate education, training, and employment to enhance earning ability;
- the decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education, and parenting arrangements made during the marriage and their effect on present and future earning potential;
- the extent to which either spouse contributed to the attainment of education, training, career position, or profession of the other; and
- any other factors that should be considered to make sure the award is equitable.
If you are currently in the process of negotiating your divorce terms, do not hesitate to contact our firm for legal support in your alimony negotiation. Our spousal support lawyers at Hicks Crandall Juhl, P.C. represent men and women in Fairfax and the surrounding communities in all issues relating to spousal support. We will do our best to achieve a negotiated solution to your spousal support case, and, if it comes to it, represent your side zealously in trial.
Call (703) 884-1098 or reach out to Hicks Crandall Juhl, P.C. online to get started in an initial consultation.