I earn more than my husband, will I have to pay spousal support?

In a Virginia divorce, an award of spousal support is determined by a set of criteria used by the circuit court. Virginia spousal support is not awarded to a spouse who is found guilty of one of the grounds for divorce in Virginia. This includes the most commonly cited grounds for a Virginia divorce, adultery.

In most cases, the husband is ordered to pay spousal support to the wife. This is because many men still out-earn their partners. Even in cases when the wife earns more than her husband, it is rare for her to be ordered to pay spousal support. It is somewhat unclear as to why this is true. Perhaps it has to do with a bias on the part of the judges in Virginia divorce cases. Another possibility is that men do not request Virginia spousal support very often. Either way, it is true that women are not often in a position of having to pay Virginia spousal support.

There are many factors used in determining the amount of spousal support granted in a Virginia divorce. Some examples of the criteria used are:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The capacity for employment of each party;
  • The financial obligations of each party;
  • The age, physical and mental condition of each party; and
  • Whether caring for a child would make it difficult to work outside the home.

Once Virginia spousal support is awarded in a divorce decree, it can take several different forms, including a one-time payment or structured payments ordered for a specific amount of time or indefinitely. Virginia child support is awarded separately, and does not necessarily follow the same payment schedule or terms. In fact, Virginia spousal support rulings vary widely. That is why it is important to work with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney who can help advise you about your options for receiving Virginia spousal support as well as the possibility of you paying spousal support to your ex-husband.

Contacting a Virginia Divorce Attorney

Throughout your divorce proceedings, you'll naturally have a lot of questions specific to your circumstances. Get your questions answered by requesting a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserving your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.

The Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm are committed to fighting for your rights, assisting in child custody disputes, and advocating that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life.