In Virginia, a Court may award a party both temporary and permanent spousal support. “Temporary” support usually is awarded while the parties are separated and until a court hears their issues in a divorce hearing. “Permanent” support may be for a defined or indefinite period of time and may be ordered as periodic payments or as a lump sum, or as a combination of both. The relative fault of each of the parties during the marriage may be considered by the Court in making a spousal support award and can influence the amount and/or the duration of such an award.
While spousal support awarded by a court may be modified at a future time, support embodied in a private settlement agreement between the parties is generally not modifiable, unless the parties’ provided by their own settlement agreement, that the award agreed upon can be changed in the future. Failure to pay spousal support is sanctionable and subjects a party to a citation for contempt and the payment of the other parties’ attorney’s fees. Modifications of support as well as actions to enforce spousal support frequently entail post-divorce negotiation or litigation. Ms. Lieblich has handled these issues over the course of her long career and can advise and assist as to an appropriate course of action in all matters pertaining to support.