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Modifying a Virginia order regarding spousal

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Divorce

Spousal support is one of the most painful issues in many Virginia divorces. Most judges will make certain that this issue has been resolved before signing the final order granting the marital dissolution. In most cases, the judge’s order will resolve the issue for an extensive period and perhaps permanently.

But as everyone knows, life is not certain, and changing circumstances can require one or both of the parents to seek a modification in an existing spousal support order. Fortunately, Virginia has a clearly defined procedure for seeking the modification of an order for child custody.

The basics

Any petition for modification of an existing order affecting spousal support must be presented to the court before the period covered by the existing order has expired. After considering the petition and any evidence presented in support or in opposition to the motion, the court has the power to increase, decrease, or terminate the amount or duration of any spousal support.

If the court receives clear and convincing evidence that one spouse has been cohabitating with another person, the court can terminate the prior order for payment of spousal support.

If one party files a petition to amend an existing order for spousal support, the court shall consider the same factors as would be considered in deciding the initial order for support. In considering such factors, the court may increase, decrease, or terminate the award upon finding that there has been a material change in the circumstances of the parties. Before issuing a new order for spousal support, the court must also consider any significant changes in the parties’ income or assets.

Persuading a judge to reconsider, and perhaps modify, a previous decision concerning spousal support is not a simple task. It’s wise to seek out professional advice.