Spousal Support in Virginia's Juvenile Courts
This Guide discusses the process by which a spouse obtains spousal support from their husband or wife in the Virginia Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts.
Prerequisites to FilingIn order to seek spousal support the petitioner must be married to the respondent, and be living separate and apart. In these circumstances, the spouse seeking support can file a petition for spousal support. These petitions should be filed in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court in the city or county where the parties last lived together.
Elements to be ProvenIn order to obtain an award of spousal support the petitioner must prove: 1.) that they have a need for the support, 2.) that the other spouse has an ability to pay, or meet the need, and 3.) what the incomes of the parties are at the time of the hearing.
Amount of SupportIf the moving party can prove, the need, the ability to pay, and the income amounts, Virginia Code Section 16.1-278.17:1 provides the amount of the support to be ordered. The presumptive amount of spousal support is the "difference between 28% of the payor spouse's monthly gross income, and 58% of the payee spouse's monthly gross income," when there are minor children in common between the parties. If no minor children, the amount is difference between 30% of the payor spouse's monthly gross income, and 50% of the payee spouse's monthly gross income. If the income disparity is not enough to produce a number from the formula, no spousal support is ordered.
Duration of SupportThis code section provides that spousal support in Juvenile Courts is pedente lite, or temporary in nature. In other words, it continues indefinitely until modified or terminated by future court order.