Sunday, November 13, 2011

Modification of Spousal Support

What date do spousal support arrears start - from date papers filed or dater party served

Ex filed a motion( papers in court) before I was served with paperwork. Wants to reduce spousal support. IF REDUCED- what date would reduction start from? Date I was officially served? OR date papers filed in court? Virginia

Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 20-109, the court can modify spousal support set by the court.
This statute provides:
A. Upon petition of either party the court may increase, decrease, or terminate the amount or duration of any spousal support and maintenance that may thereafter accrue, whether previously or hereafter awarded, as the circumstances may make proper. Upon order of the court based upon clear and convincing evidence that the spouse receiving support has been habitually cohabiting with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year or more commencing on or after July 1, 1997, the court shall terminate spousal support and maintenance unless (i) otherwise provided by stipulation or contract or (ii) the spouse receiving support proves by a preponderance of the evidence that termination of such support would be unconscionable. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all orders and decrees for spousal support, regardless of the date of the suit for initial setting of support, the date of entry of any such order or decree, or the date of any petition for modification of support.

B. The court may consider a modification of an award of spousal support for a defined duration upon petition of either party filed within the time covered by the duration of the award. Upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection E of Sec. 20-107.1, the court may increase, decrease or terminate the amount or duration of the award upon finding that (i) there has been a material change in the circumstances of the parties, not reasonably in the contemplation of the parties when the award was made or (ii) an event which the court anticipated would occur during the duration of the award and which was significant in the making of the award, does not in fact occur through no fault of the party seeking the modification.

With regard to the date of retroactivity, Virginia Code Section 20-74 governs. This statute provides:
"No support order may be retroactively modified, but may be modified with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for modification in any court, but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the responding party."
Legal disclaimer: This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.

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