In January 2013, I filed for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty (verbal and mental) in Fairfax County, VA. My questions are:
My attorney keeps saying that because both my husband and I net about the same, a judge will not award me support. I have asked my attorney why when my husband makes $400 more a month.
My legal expenses -- my attorney keeps saying that the judge will not award this either. Why? I was forced to flee the marriage. If I had not been forced to flee the marriage, I would not have incurred these expense.
Are Virginia Judges really that indifferent to abused spouses?
2 Answers from Attorneys
As you have given no indication as to whether the grounds you have claimed
for divorce have ever been adjudicated or accorded any formal recognition by the
this court in what presumably would've been an evidentiary hearing contested
by your spouse, I cannot offer an opinion.
Temporary alimony can be requested while the divorce case is pending. However, the Fairfax County Circuit Court guidelines call for an award equal to 30% of the (in this case) husband's gross income less 50% of the your income. As you can see, that would not result in alimony in a situation like yours, where the incomes are about equal.
The test for so-called "permanent" alimony to be awarded at the final divorce trial is what he can afford and what you need; but it is highly unlikely that there would be a permanent award based on your respective incomes.
If there are children involved, child support is a different matter.