Can You Get Out of Paying Spousal Support in Virginia?
By far, the most difficult issue for divorcing couples to deal with is spousal support. Of course, it’s a financial discussion and decision to be made (or ruled on by a judge), and it’s also an incredibly emotional issue. This is what makes it such a difficult conversation to have.
How is Spousal Support Determined?
Spousal support is based on one spouse’s need for it and the other spouse’s ability to pay. Just having a need alone will not get you support if the other spouse does not have the ability to pay. And every case is different. Whether or not spousal support is appropriate will depend on the particular circumstances of each couple.
If the parties are each capable of supporting themselves, then spousal support will likely not be an issue. If there is a vast difference in the income of each party, or if one spouse earned all the money during the marriage and the other stayed at home, then support will be an issue. Each state has a list of factors that courts consider when deciding whether or not to award spousal support.
Ways to Get Out of Paying Spousal Support
The easiest way to get out of paying spousal support is to plan ahead by having a Prenuptial Agreement. In these agreements, couples can agree that if they divorce, neither will have an obligation to pay spousal support to the other.
The next best way to get out of paying spousal support is to make sure you and your spouse are both working and maximizing your respective ability to earn. If one spouse leaves the work force to stay home with children and the parties eventually divorce, expect spousal support to be on the table.
A third way to get out of paying spousal support in many states is to prove your spouse is guilty of adultery. That can be an automatic bar to spousal support.
While having to pay spousal support is tough to accept for many spouses, the good news is that it can be structured in a number of ways. And while judges are limited in what they can do if you end up in court, you and your spouse can agree on any terms that work for you, including how much is paid and how long it will be paid. Spousal support typically terminates by law when the person receiving support gets married or either party dies.
If you have questions about a spousal support issue or any family law matter, please call Marcy Jones at 434-845-2463 of use the contact form to send her a message. Marcy is an experienced family law attorney located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and serving clients throughout Central Virginia.