Spousal Support in Northern Virginia

Spousal support, or alimony as it is often called in divorce cases in Northern Virginia, is another one of the more heated aspects of a typical divorce case. However, one thing that many people may not be aware of is that, in many cases, especially if both spouses are employed full time, the parties may not be interested in requiring alimony or spousal support from each other.

One of the great things about the Northern Virginia area is the vast amount of economic and employment opportunities. There are marriages in which both spouses are working professionals and able to live perfectly fine without a financial contribution from their soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife.

However, this is not always the case. There are many marriages in the Northern Virginia area where one spouse has a high paying job and the other spouse chose to forego the opportunity to have a career and earn money, so he or she could stay home and take care of the children.  As our Northern Virginia divorce attorneys can explain, it is not like the old days where people did not assign much financial value to a homemaker.  Today, we know child care for three children could easily cost as much as $75,000 in the Washington, DC metro area, and with the cost of having a live-in childcare worker and other home aids, a spouse who decided to stay at home could save the family well over a hundred thousand dollars a year.  This is certainly something that courts will consider when determining what spousal support should be, should the parties not be able to reach an agreement on their own.

As you might see, this is a common theme in Northern Virginia family law cases.  If the parties can agree on how things should work, that is probably in the best interest of everyone involved.  Whether we are talking about alimony, as is the case here, or child custody, child support, distribution of marital property, or even important parenting decisions, the court will respect the wishes of the parties and incorporate whatever decisions the parties have made into the final order in a divorce proceeding.  In the Commonwealth of Virginia, that agreement takes the form of a lengthy document known as a Property Settlement Agreement (PSA).  Typically, one party’s attorney will draft the PSA and send it to the other party’s attorney to see if they agree.  If they do not agree, they will typically make changes and send the edited version back to the other party.  This can go back and forth like any standard contract negotiation, but eventually the parties will usually reach an agreement and submit an executed PSA to the court as part of a divorce packet.

If the parties cannot agree, the Virginia Code provides a number of factors the judge will use when fashioning an alimony award.

The family law attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group have years of experience handling domestic relations cases in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland.  Contact us to schedule a consultation today at (703) 370-5555.

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