Increase in Income Does Not Always Mean an Increase in Spousal Support

Spousal support is crucial to maintaining your standard of living and supporting yourself post-divorce. The attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC have much experience securing the spousal support necessary for our clients to survive and thrive. Spousal support is calculated based on a number of statutory factors specified in the Virginia Code. One of these factors includes the respective incomes of the parties at the time of divorce, and their need.

Some may assume that an increase in income would automatically lead to an increase in the amount of spousal support owed, post-divorce. However, in a recent Virginia case, the Court denies this requested increase. Here were the facts:

A couple divorced in 2014. The Court found the ex-husband’s income had increased.

In the three years since the entry of their divorce decree in Virginia, the ex-husband was earning more money than when the divorce decree was finalized. However, the Court did not mandate that his spousal support payments increase.

Among other reasons, the court decided this was because the initial support award had been based on a statutory guideline. There had been no change in the guidelines used by the legislature or any other applicable law. Therefore, the support award was not recalculated based on an increase in income.

The attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC are here to guide you through your motions to change spousal support. Attorney Van Smith and the other attorneys in his firm have experience in both arguing for increases and decreases in spousal support awards.

For more information on the case, see Ford v. Johansen; Richmond Cir. Ct. 2017.

Special thanks to co-author and fellow researcher, Hayden-Anne Breedlove for her contribution with this article. Hayden-Anne Breedlove anticipates graduating from the University of Richmond School of Law in May of 2019.

 
H. Van Smith
Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg