Spousal And Child Support

Spousal support is not statutory for the most part or mandated by a schedule but discretionary after consideration of various factors set forth in the Virginia Code, as well as the needs and abilities of the parties. A court may look at circumstances such as: What efforts are being made to find a job? What was the last employment and circumstances of termination of the employment? Are there medical issues causing unemployment or underemployment? Is the unemployment or underemployment due to a voluntary act? Is the unemployment or underemployment due to misconduct or neglect in the performance of the job?

The court may award spousal support in periodic (normally monthly) payments for a defined duration, or in periodic payments for an undefined duration, or in a lump sum award. Normally spousal support terminates if a) the receiving party is cohabitating in a situation analogous to marriage for one year, b) upon the death of either party, or c) upon remarriage of the receiving party.

Child support is determined in accordance with a statutory schedule set forth in the Code of Virginia. In setting child support, the court considers all sources of income of the parties, not just employment income. Child support is payable until a child is 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. The child must not be self-supporting and live in the home of the parent receiving child support. Child support may continue after high school or age 19 in certain cases where a child is unable to live independently and support his or herself due to mental or physical disability, or if the parties have agreed to pay child support to a later age or event.

Contact the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur today by calling 703-278-2028 or sending us an email online. From our office in Annandale, we help people throughout Northern Virginia.