One common and hotly contested subject of divorce proceedings involves spousal support. The Charlottesville spousal support lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. have extensive experience both negotiating and litigating spousal support matters, and our goal is to help you get through this difficult time with the best possible outcome. Though we try to avoid the cost and stress of spousal support litigation, we recognize that these matters oftentimes cannot be negotiated and our divorce lawyers will not hesitate to be aggressive litigators.
Our Charlottesville spousal support lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in spousal support matters, in pendente lite hearings in either circuit court, or in juvenile and domestic relations district courts. Virginia law empowers trial judges to award alimony, known in Virginia as spousal support and maintenance, to spouses on a temporary or permanent basis. Once a trial judge determines that a party is eligible for spousal support, the judge must then weigh the needs of each party in light of the ability of one party to pay support to the other. In crafting a support and maintenance award, a trial judge must consider a number of statutory factors, found in Virginia Code § 20-107.1, in determining the nature, amount, and duration of a support award:
- The obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties, including but not limited to income from all pension, profit sharing or retirement plans, of whatever nature;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and physical and mental condition of the parties and any special circumstances of the family;
- The extent to which the age, physical or mental condition or special circumstances of any child of the parties would make it appropriate that a party not seek employment outside of the home;
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
- The property interests of the parties, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
- The provisions made with regard to the marital property under § 20-107.3;
- The earning capacity, including the skills, education and training of the parties and the present employment opportunities for persons possessing such earning capacity;
- The opportunity for, ability of, and the time and costs involved for a party to acquire the appropriate education, training and employment to obtain the skills needed to enhance his or her earning ability;
- The decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education and parenting arrangements made by the parties during the marriage and their effect on present and future earning potential, including the length of time one or both of the parties have been absent from the job market;
- The extent to which either party has contributed to the attainment of education, training, career position or profession of the other party; and
- Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.
Va. Code § 20-107.1 (2009).
MartinWren, P.C.’s Charlottesville spousal support lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals in spousal support matters of all complexity.