Will your husband have to support you after your divorce in the manner to which you have grown accustomed?

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 by Katie Carter

It’s unrealistic to expect that your husband will be able to support you in “the manner to which you have grown accustomed” after your divorce. In fact, it’s probably impossible, because divorce cases are not like personal injury cases, and no one person can really expect to receive a windfall.

In a divorce, you have the money that the two of you brought into the marriage, and nothing more. After the divorce, you’ll divide the money, the real and personal property, the assets and liabilities, and find a peaceable, workable solution to handle any custody and visitation issues. If you’ve divided everything, it’s definitely not reasonable to suppose that you’ll somehow magically be able to maintain the same standard of living.

It is true that the Virginia Code contemplates the standard of living established during the marriage, and that this is one of the factors that the judge must consider when determining whether (and how much) spousal support should be awarded. However, this is more of a guideline designed to prompt the judge to distribute the new discrepancy more fairly, rather than to actually suppose that there is extra wealth to divide.

It is the court’s job to make the most of the money available. Unlike child support, however, there is no specific formula in place to determine how much spousal support you qualify to receive.

If you’re expecting to be supported after your divorce in the same manner to which you have grown accustomed during your marriage, you’ll likely be disappointed. Keep in mind that spousal support is based on a complex analysis of multiple factors, your respective income levels, and the length of your marriage.