In LaBrie v. LaBrie, Record No. 1894-14-2 (Va. Ct. Appeals 2015), a former husband sought to reduce or terminate his spousal support obligation of $4,350 per month. It’s a funny case because on first blush it appears that he has decent facts in support of his petition. Nevertheless, the court methodically calls him out on every flaw in his case, buttressed by the former wife’s savvy introduction of videotape evidence showing the former husband looking relatively fit. His petition was denied, and he ultimately lost on appeal. Here’s the blow by blow: Continue reading
If you agree to make certain payments for the benefit of your former wife “in lieu of spousal support,” can you automatically stop making those payments if your former wife remarries? Continue reading
Spousal support really is an odd duck here in Virginia.
The basic consideration when determining spousal support is one party’s need versus the other party’s ability to pay. However, the court must also consider all of the factors under Va. Code § 20-107.1, which include the duration of the marriage; the decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education and parenting arrangements made by the parties during the marriage; and the obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties. In addition, the court must contend with stray caselaw that may include language favoring one factor over another (e.g., the standard of living established during the marriage). The court might also have to wrestle with the fact that the legislature came up with a formula for temporary spousal support awards in our juvenile and domestic relations district courts under Va. Code § 16.1-278.17:1, not to mention the fact that such formula is not supposed to apply when the combined gross incomes of the parties exceed $10,000 per month. Confusing, huh? Continue reading
In Epps v. Epps, Record No. 1077-14-1 (Va. Ct. Appeals 2015), the appellate court described how our circuit courts go about dividing up marital property:
“First, upon a request of either of the parties, the circuit court “must classify the property as either separate or marital. The court must then assign a value to the property based upon evidence presented by both parties. Finally, the court distributes the property to the parties, taking into consideration the factors presented in Code § 20-107.3(E).”