LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Anneshia Miller Grant | Jun 2, 2013

What Do I Need To Know About Calculating Spousal Support In Virginia Beach Divorce?

Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support?

If two people are unable to agree on the issue of spousal support, also known as alimony, the Court is left to decide 1) whether a spouse is entitled to support and 2) if so, how much and for how long. Unlike child support, the calculation of which is determined by a specific formula in all cases; there is no formula for the determination of spousal support.

The court looks to maintain the standard of living of the parties, who now have to support two homes rather than one. The court will look to the more financially secure spouse to support the other in a form of “rehabilitative alimony", the goal of which is tomake the less financially secure spouse self sufficient. The court looks to factors such as :

  1. The obligation (debts, child support), needs and financial resources of the parties.
  2. The standard of living established during the marriage
  3. How long the parties were married. Support may be higher or for a longer duration for long term marriages.
  4. The age and physical and mental condition of the parties and any special circumstances of the family.
  5. Whether the family has any children that whether due to age, physical or mental condition or any other special circumstance prevents a party from working outside of the home.
  6. The contributions of each party, monetary and non-monetary, to the well- being of the family.
  7. The property interests of each party.
  8. The disposition of the property in the divorce.
  9. The earning capacity, education, skills, training of the parties.
  10. The cost, opportunity, time and ability of one party to gain the education or training necessary to make more money
  11. The decisions made during the marriage with regard to the parties employment and how those decisions affect the current and potential earnings. (i.e., if one party stayed home to raise the children)
  12. The extent to which one party supported the other in his or her education, training, career position or profession.
  13. Any other relevant factors such as tax consequences (spousal support is taxable to the payee and tax deductible to the payor).

Is my Disability counted as income for child support or spousal support?

Military members receive many different types of pay to include their base pay, BAH (housing allowance), COLA (cost of living allowance), disability pay, sea pay, special duty pay, hazardous duty pay, family separation pay and the list goes on. A common question in cases where a service member is trying to determine how much support they will be required to pay is what income is included to determine child or spousal support.

Almost all income is considered for purposes of child and spousal support, to include disability income.

VA Code §20-107.1 Holmes v. Holmes, 7 Va. App. 472

Is there any way that I can avoid paying spousal support?

The only two ways that you may be assured you will not have to pay spousal support is 1) a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, which denies spousal support to one or both parties in the event of a divorce, or 2) if the party seeking support is found to be at fault for the divorce in the grounds of misconduct, such as a divorce based on adultery. Adultery is an absolute bar to spousal support in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VA Code §20-107.1 (B)

Our experienced family law attorneys can assist you in all of your questions regarding spousal support, child support, military pay issues, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and divorce. Schedule an appointment today by calling us at (757) 422-0195, or contact us online.

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