Lynchburg Spousal Support Attorney Advocates for Clients
Central Virginia firm strives to establish fair alimony terms
Whether you call it spousal support, alimony or something else, the question of whether one former spouse will make payments to the other could become highly contested and emotional. At The Bice Law Group, I am an accomplished Lynchburg spousal support attorney who offers skillful representation to potential alimony recipients and providers. I’ll make sure that you understand the pertinent Virginia law so that you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how to proceed. Whatever course you choose, my firm will be a strong advocate working to bring you a favorable result.
What is spousal support?
Three basic types of spousal support exist to help Virginians who seek assistance as they transition to single life:
- Temporary — A spouse who does not work outside their home could face serious financial hardship while the divorce is pending. Accordingly, courts may authorize temporary alimony payments to last until the marriage is legally dissolved and a final order is entered. Sometimes known as pendente lite spousal support, this amount is based on a formula set by the state.
- Rehabilitative — Today, most spousal support awards are designed to provide financial sustenance during the period where the recipient re-establishes their ability to meet their own needs. I take into account the requesting spouse’s skills, education and time out of work when advising clients on how a court might rule.
- Permanent — Should a circumstance such as physical disability or advanced age make it unlikely that a stay-at-home spouse will ever be able to earn a suitable income, permanent alimony might be granted.
As an experienced family litigator, I work diligently to establish alimony terms that serve my client’s best interests.
How is spousal support calculated?
Courts look at numerous factors when ruling on requests for spousal support, including the couple’s lifestyle, the duration of the marriage and each party’s earning capacity. If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement addressing alimony provisions, I will review the terms to see if it is likely to be enforced. Other factors, such as the requesting party’s contribution to the family’s well-being, can also be taken into account.
How long does spousal support last?
When spousal support determinations go before a judge, a general guideline calls for payments to last approximately half as long as the marriage. However, this is not set in stone. Various factors, including the spouses’ health, age and child-care responsibilities could justify a departure from this standard. An existing spousal support obligation can be terminated if the recipient remarries or lives with a new romantic partner for at least a year.
Can someone avoid paying spousal support in Virginia?
Traditionally, alimony was granted because of the preponderance of single-earner households. In many families now, both spouses work. Even when that’s not the case, the stay-at-home wife or husband can often return to the career they had prior to the marriage. If the parties each bring home a similar income, spousal support might not be awarded. There could also be a situation where a husband or wife who would otherwise be awarded spousal support is denied because their marital misconduct led to the divorce.
Can spousal support be modified?
Spousal support determinations are made based on the circumstances that exist at the time of the divorce. If a job loss, financial windfall, health problem or some other factor justifies a modification to alimony terms, either party may petition for a change. My firm assists clients who believe an adjustment is warranted, as well as those who oppose modifications, in negotiations and in court.
Contact a skillful Virginia attorney for a free consultation about spousal support issues
Located in Lynchburg, The Bice Law Group represents Virginians in negotiations, mediation and litigation relating to spousal support terms. Please call (434) 528-1500 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation.