Spousal Support Modifications

Like so many things in life, the value of spousal support you receive is never set in stone. Circumstances change over time. In certain situations, you may need to request more support, or you spouse may request to stop paying it. It is important for you to know how these modifications work.

First of all, you can't just file a petition for additional spousal support simply because you want more money. There needs to be a significant life event that triggers the request to modify spousal support in Virginia. Common situations include:

  • If you get remarried or having been living with a new partner for more than a year, your spousal support can be terminated unless you can prove that such a change would be completely unreasonable.
  • You have lost your job, your ex-spouse has lost a job, or either one of you has had your salary significantly decreased or increased. It's more common for the spouse paying the support to file for a modification after losing a job, because the lost income makes it impossible to pay the monthly obligation.
  • The court originally anticipated a certain event would occur during the duration of the award, and that event was significant in the making of the award—but the event did not in fact occur, through no fault of the party seeking modification. For example, the court may have ordered a small support order for a woman who was expected to be offered a well-paying job offer in the near future; when that offer falls through, the ex-wife may have grounds to request higher support.

There can be many different things to consider when requesting a spousal support modification, so it is best to consult with an experienced attorney before you take any big steps.

H. Van Smith
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Trusted Virginia Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg
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