The initial meeting regarding spousal support is going to involve a lot of questions regarding the financial needs of the person requesting support. There will also be a good deal of conversation about the amount of money that the each spouse is earning at the time and whether each spouse is earning income to their capacity.

The process of determining alimony payments in Virginia is completely dependent on the financial situation of the two parties. To best understand your spousal support situation, consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Determining Alimony

Determining alimony payments in Virginia depends on what jurisdiction that an individual’s case is in. Temporary support determinations are typically made within a few weeks, because the idea is that the court is making a determination about spousal support for a short term. In terms of final spousal support determinations and in the jurisdictions that exist in Northern Virginia, it can typically take 9 to 12 months to get a determination for permanent spousal support.

There is not any particular obligation for an individual to inform certain people or entities that they are in the middle of a legal process. Support often comes into play when parties are looking for loans or to refinance their home. Particularly for the recipient spouse, different mortgage companies and banks have certain rules about how many months a person must be receiving spousal support before that income can be considered for purposes of acquiring a loan.

Death of a Spouse

Typically, support is not payable when one of the parties dies. However, if there is a spousal support amount that accrued prior to the death of the party that can be handled in terms of the spouse’s estate, it should be. This is because spousal support that is not paid on time becomes a financial judgment as the matter of law.

When one of the parties dies, the process of spousal support in Virginia ends. When a spousal support obligation is ordered, it is very common for the payor spouse to be required to keep life insurance in some minimum amount to ensure that the spouse needing financial support will receive that support if the payor spouse dies in an untimely manner.

Behavior to Avoid

Cohabitation with a significant other must be avoided at all costs when going through the process of spousal support in Virginia. Engaging in sexual relations with someone other than a spouse should also be avoided at all costs.

It is also important when going through the process of spousal support litigation in Virginia for both parties to be looking at their monthly budget with an eye toward keeping expenses relatively low. Being able to meet the financial needs of two households is a lot more difficult to do when a person is working with the same income that was supporting one household prior to separation.

Common Misconceptions

Sometimes, people believe that just because they earn less money that they will automatically get spousal support. It is important for people to understand that it is not just a matter of what an individual currently earns. The court is also required to factor in what the individual’s potential earnings are, the magnitude of any discrepancy in incomes, and other considerations.

Benefit of an Attorney

Attorneys can be of great assistance in being able to provide parties with certain proposed scenarios for the process of alimony payments in Virginia. These can include spousal support awards that step down over a period of time, considering that the recipient spouse might have the ability for a period of time to increase their earning capacity.

A client involved in a spousal support case should bring with them their tax returns, current pay stubs for both parties, and documentation of regularly occurring expenses when first meeting with a lawyer about the process of alimony payments in Virginia.

Overall, attorneys can be useful in helping parties craft a solution that works for both of them and in avoiding having to go to court and submit this issue for the determination by a judge.