Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

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?

Asked on 10/30/13, 7:10 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

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.

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Answered on 10/30/13, 8:14 am

Paul B. Ward Law Offices of Paul B. Ward

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.

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Answered on 10/30/13, 11:40 am

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