Spousal Support

Fairfax Spousal Support Lawyers

Assisting Clients With Spousal Support Matters in Virginia

In Virginia, court orders for spousal support (also referred to in some states as “alimony”) are typically based on the court’s consideration of certain statutory factors — most importantly, the needs of one party and the ability of the other to pay.

You and your spouse can resolve a spousal support issue outside of court by mutual written agreement, or the court can determine the issue for you.

What Happens When Your Spousal Support Case Goes to Trial?

If your spousal support case goes to trial, a judge must consider more than a dozen factors, including the obligations, needs, and financial resources of each spouse; the length of the marriage; the contributions each spouse has made to the marriage and well-being of the family; the factors which lead to the breakdown of the marriage; and often most importantly, the decisions made by the couple regarding employment, career, and parenting arrangements, and their effect on present and future earning potential. This includes the length of time a spouse has been absent from the job market. If there is no evidence of adultery (a potential bar in Virginia to any award of spousal support) by the spouse seeking support, the court has a reasonable degree of discretion in making the award. The court can order that the spousal support payments be made for a fixed or indefinite period of time.

Changes to the Federal Tax Code & Spousal Support Payments

There have been several recent changes in the federal tax code which affect spousal support, making it imperative to consult with an experienced attorney who can discuss the implications of these new laws. The major change is this: In the past, spousal support payments were for federal income tax purposes, deductible by the paying party, and income to the recipient. Effective January 1, 2019, for all new court orders issued after that date, and for all marital settlement agreements effective after that date, spousal support payments are no longer deductible by the payor or income to the recipient. This significant change in federal tax law means that prior assumptions regarding the after-tax cost of spousal support have changed.

Modifying Spousal Support Orders

Our law office also handles cases involving the modification of spousal support. In Virginia, a party paying spousal support may be able to seek a modification of their obligation, and in order to do so, they must first establish that there has been a material change in their financial circumstances, or in the financial circumstances of their former spouse, which justify a modification of spousal support. The court may, but is not required to, consider the spousal support factors in deciding whether or not to grant the petition to modify. All spousal support awards determined by the court are eligible for modification.

Terminating Spousal Support 

Spousal support may be for an indefinite or definite period of time. When support is for a defined period of time, it will end once a certain event occurs. It is rare, but not unheard of, for the parties to agree on a lump sum award of spousal support, or for the court to order this following a trial. Spousal support typically terminates upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the support recipient. The court may terminate spousal support due to the cohabitation of the party receiving support, for a period of one year or more, in a relationship analogous to a marriage. This is a very technical area of the law, requiring consultation with an experienced attorney.

Why Choose Wexell Milman

At Wexell Milman, our emphasis is on divorce and other family law issues. We have a wealth of experience in handling the issue of spousal support, both in pursuing and defending claims for spousal support and the modification of spousal support. The lawyers at Wexell Milman achieve negotiated or mediated results in many divorce cases but are equally comfortable litigating these matters in court. Our attorneys represent clients in both pendente lite (temporary) and final support hearings, whether you are the party seeking spousal support or defending a spousal support claim.

How Our Fairfax Spousal Support Attorneys Can Help

Hiring our Fairfax spousal support lawyers can provide you with a range of benefits during what can be a challenging and emotionally charged time. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in family law and specializes in spousal support cases, ensuring that you receive expert guidance tailored to your unique situation.

Expertise in Virginia Family Law: Our Fairfax spousal support lawyers specialize in family law, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to handle your case effectively.

Local Legal Insight: With a deep understanding of Fairfax and Virginia laws, our attorneys can navigate the intricacies of the legal system, ensuring your case is managed with precision and compliance.

Tailored Guidance: Our legal team provides personalized advice, considering the unique aspects of your situation. This tailored approach ensures that your spousal support case is addressed comprehensively.

Strategic Negotiation Skills: Our lawyers are adept negotiators, employing effective strategies during settlement discussions. This skill can lead to more favorable outcomes and potentially expedite the resolution process.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Familiar with alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation, our attorneys can help minimize conflict and streamline the legal process, offering a more amicable and efficient resolution.

Advocacy for Your Interests: When you hire our Fairfax spousal support lawyers, you gain advocates who will tirelessly represent your interests, both in and out of the courtroom, working towards achieving the best possible outcome for you.

To make arrangements for an initial consultation, call our family law office directly at (703) 454-5448 or contact us online.

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To schedule an initial consultation, call our law offices in Fairfax, Virginia, at (703) 454-5448 or complete and submit the form on the right.

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