Spousal support, along with child support and child custody is among the most widely contested aspects of many divorces. If you have a knowledgeable and diligent lawyer on your side, you can be sure that the court will be in the best position to reach a just and fair decision, once all the necessary facts are brought to light. For assurance and peace of mind in knowing your case is being handled with care and attention, contact your local Virginia Beach Family Lawyer today.
First off it is important to understand the baseline rule for spouses that are ALREADY deemed to be entitled to support. Whether a spouse is entitled to receive support in the first place is the subject of an entirely different article. Be sure to bookmark our page or subscribe to our feed for the latest articles. In Virginia, “all spouses that are entitled to support have the right to be maintained in the manner to which they were accustomed during the marriage, but their needs must be balanced against the other spouse’s financial ability to pay.” (See Dukelow v. Dukelow, 2 Va. App. 21, 26 (1986)). Your local Virginia Beach Family Lawyer can explain the tricky areas of law that can have great implications to your case.
Based on the above mentioned rule that entitles spouses who receive support to an amount close to the standard of living during marriage (balanced of course, by the ability to pay of the other spouse), the next question most people have is; “what does the court consider when determining the other spouse’s financial ability to pay? The answer may surprise you. For instance, not only are earnings of the spouse taken into consideration, but also “earning capacity.” (See Jacobs v. Jacobs, 219 Va. 993 (1979)). This means, a person would be ill-advised to quit his or her job with the goal being to avoid having to pay spousal support. The court (and opposing counsel) may take note, and use this against a party. Thus, if a person voluntarily accepts a job that pays less than the former job that person held, then they may still be expected to pay support payments based on the figures he or she was making at the old job – the true earning capacity! As you can probably tell, there are many factors and considerations that go into any support decree. Therefore, your best resource during a divorce or even after – the time after a divorce has been ordered – your local Virginia Beach Family Lawyer is your best source for an honest case assessment.