Radford, VA asked in Divorce and Family Law for Virginia

Q: Is 20 yrs a magic # for permanent spousal support in VA or is there little difference if one files divorce after 19 1/2?

62-year-old spouse has been a stay-at-home parent the entire time.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: There is currently no formula for permanent spousal support, the type awarded upon decreeing a divorce, in Virginia. An award of permanent spousal support, which may be for a fixed term, in a lump sum, or indefinitely until either party dies, or until the payee spouse remarries or cohabits in a marital-like relationship for at least a year, is within the judge's discretion after considering the factors in Virginia Code Section 20-107.1

The fact that there is no formula for permanent spousal support is somewhat vexing for divorce lawyers, particularly those who settle cases rather than try them. I have heard of some "magic formulas" invented by some lawyers, or claimed to be customary, such as support will be awarded for half the length of the marriage, or one can expect permanent support for an indefinite period after 10 years of marriage. None of that is correct. There is currently no formula. Period.

There are formulas for temporary spousal support in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court or as pendente lite relief incidental to a pending divorce case in Circuit Court.

Anyone facing separation and divorce in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.

Ross Cameron Hart agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.