I have been summoned to court for a spousal support hearing next month. My husband has stated that he will have multiple witnesses present to testify on his behalf. Is this a common occurrence or is he just trying to intimidate me? Can someone please give me a quick rundown of the procedure and what I should expect. I know I need to get legal counsel and hope to do so soon.
You are definitely right in thinking that you'll have to get legal counsel. It is impossible to say how strong a case your husband has. To get some idea of how spousal support is determined by VA courts, a good place to start is the VA Code section § 20-107.1. You can learn a lot online but it is only general information. To get a clear understanding of your own case, you will almost certainly need expert help. Christmas is coming quickly (ask my kids!) and you should contact a good attorney without delay.
It is not clear what kind of hearing you are having (Juvenile Court Spousal hearing, support hearing during a divorce, post-divorce modification, etc.); however, your instincts to hire counsel are good to ensure you are best prepared and protected. There are different procedures/laws dealing with all three scenarios (and others if exist).
Depending on the nature of the hearing and the specific facts of your case, you may want to subpoena documents, witnesses, or issue discovery and if the hearing is next month, time is running out. You should seek experienced counsel in the Tidewater area to review your case.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I am not providing legal advice. I encourage you to personally contact an attorney who practices in the area of law in order to provide all relevant information before taking any action.
It's hard to say whether he is trying to intimidate you or not, as you know him better than anyone on this forum will. But I would definitely assume he speaks the truth and prepare as strong of a case as you can. The judge will ask what he is asking for, and he will tell her how much he wants. Then he will put on his evidence to try to prove what he's asking for is what the judge should order. Then you will have the opportunity to also question any witnesses that he questioned. Then it will be your turn to put on your own evidence, which he will be able to cross-examine as well. Then both sides will have the opportunity to make any closing statements they would like to make, and the judge will make his decision. This is one of those issues where it is beneficial to get an attorney as soon as possible because there is a lot of prepare, especially if there will be witnesses involved.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline