It is not uncommon to feel the financial pinch after separating from your spouse, especially if they have the higher salary. The need for monetary support becomes crucial if you don’t make enough on your own to cover your rent or mortgage, bills and other expenses. Regardless of whether or not you have children, you may be entitled to spousal support, or alimony, in the Commonwealth of Virginia if your circumstances qualify you to receive it. At Bush & Taylor, P.C., we have helped many petitioners get the financial support needed to start over, and we can help you, too.
Are You Eligible for Spousal Support in Virginia?
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I need support? Maybe you didn’t work while you were married, or you worked part-time or full-time in a low-paying position. Your situation may require you to find a better job and you need time to make it happen.
Can my spouse pay it? If your spouse made enough to support both of you while married, is that still possible now that you’re separated?
How much are both of us making now? Your salary, if you have one, and your spouse’s are taken into consideration during a support hearing.
Obtaining Spousal Support in Virginia
To be eligible for support, you must still be married to and living apart from your estranged spouse. You (or your attorney) will file a petition at the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court in the Virginia city or county where you last lived as a married couple. Once you can prove your need for financial help and your spouse’s ability to pay it, the court will decide the award.
The court will grant support if there is enough of a disparity between your monthly income and that of your spouse. For example, if your spouse makes $75,000 a year and you make $25,000, you can be eligible. If your salaries are equal or close, no support is granted.
If you have children with your spouse, the spousal support you receive may be “the difference between 28% of the payor’s monthly gross income, and 58% of the payee’s monthly gross income” (See Virginia Code Section 16.1-278.17:1). Using the above $75,000/$25,000 example, assuming there are no deductions from the gross incomes, monthly spousal support could come to $542. Bear in mind, this support is separate from child support.
If you have no children, the percentages may change to 30% of the payor’s monthly gross income and 50% of the payee’s monthly gross income. Using the above example, the total could come to $833 a month. The court will acknowledge that the support you receive is temporary. You will receive financial help from your spouse indefinitely until the court terminates the order.
If you have recently separated and are in need of spousal support, the family law attorneys at Bush & Taylor, P.C. are prepared to represent you. Contact us today for an appointment, and let us help you determine what you need to move forward. We have acted as the legal voice for many separated spouses in Suffolk, Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore and we get results.